The Fall of the House of Usher Movie vs. Short Story

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque Pages: 2 (679 words) Published: March 28, 2012
Most readers of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, will notice some obvious changes in Roger Corman’s movie, The Fall of the House of Usher. In the film, Philip Winthrop traveled to the House of Usher, a grim mansion surrounded by a tarn, for his fiancée Madeline Usher. Madeline's brother Roderick opposed Philip's intentions of getting married to Madeline and taking her back to Boston with him. He told Phillip that the Usher family is afflicted by a cursed bloodline which made all their ancestors mad, criminals, etc. He did not want the evils to spread through Madeline and Phillips “future children”. Philip felt that he could not see Madeline and himself endure much more, so he finally convinced Madeline into going with him. When everything is settled, she got into an argument with her brother and she suddenly “dies”. She was laid to rest in the family vault by Philip and Roderick. When Philip was getting ready to leave, the butler said Madeline suffered from catalepsy (a condition which can make people appear dead). Philip hurried to open Madeline's coffin and found it empty. He desperately searched for her in the huge mansion which consisted of many hidden passages. Meanwhile, Madeline, who was completely mad, made her way to her brother. She tried to get revenge by killing him but they both die as a fire breaks out. Philip escaped and saw the house sink into the tarn surrounding it. Poe used vivid imagery supported by very descriptive details. He established the mood with specific word choice, “There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart—an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it—I paused to think—what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher?"(pg.65) All three of the characters suffered from madness and gloom, evidently brought on by the forlorn setting. Poe’s description of the house and then comparing...
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