Unity of Effect: the Fall of the House of Usher

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ENG1120 G
7 February 2013
Unity of Effect: The Fall of the House of Usher
Throughout Edgar Allan Poe’s career he was one of major author’s to write about the theory of composition. Throughout this piece he wrote about the unity of effect, stating that it should be how an author decides what effect he/she wants to create in the reader’s emotional response, then how to proceed by using creativity to achieve this particular effect. Once choosing the certain effect that one truly desires, the author would then decide the best way to establish this, whether it be through incidents, the plot, symbolism, narration, or the tone. Unity of effect is certainly used for a lot, if not all of the literary elements throughout The Fall of the House of Usher. Poe clearly attempts to create an emotional response through literary devices, creativity, and elements throughout the story. Needless to say, Poe creates a unity of effect through the selection of incidents in the plot, the use of symbolism, and the grim and gloomy setting to create the reader’s emotional response.

Certainly, in The Fall of the House of Usher, the use of setting and mood efficiently aids in establishing the unity of effect. From the very beginning, the story’s central focus is its’ sinister mood established through its gloomy setting. The story even opens with a grim kick, "During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher” (Poe 16). Poe uses the setting to create the atmosphere within the readers mind by carefully choosing every word within his thought out sentences to establish the gloomy mood. For instance, the house of Usher is described as gothic, with its exterior of dull bricks, the crack in the house, and eye like...
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