Story: The Fall of the House of Usher
Author: Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)
Central Character: The Friend, a man who is not named or described, only that he had known Roderick Usher in their childhood. Roderick Usher is described as paler and less energetic than he once was. He is the fraternal twin brother of Madeline Usher. Other characters: Madeline Usher is notably ill with a mysterious sickness. Also the house of Usher itself has placed upon the friend a feeling strong enough to be thought of as a character; described as having absorbed an evil and diseased atmosphere. The structure is decaying in places but seemingly solid, with a crack that runs from roof to ground. Setting: A dark, dull, and soundless day in Autumn. The friend rides up to the creepy, dark, dreary, unnerving House of Usher. Narrator: The point of view is that of the unnamed friend who had been written to, to visit the House of Usher. Summary: (1) The Narrator experiences the doom and gloom of a man he once knew in childhood. His surroundings and feelings are told of his visit to the House of Usher, upon receiving a letter beckoning him to come, for the man he once knew, did not have another friend in the world to reach out to. (2) When he arrives he has an unnerving feeling about the estate itself, noting the iciness and the dreadful, sorrowful impression of the house. (3) He is re-acquainted with his friend Roderick Usher and notices on sight of him that he is a shell of the person he once knew in their childhood. (4) For the next few days the narrator painted and read with Roderick, or he just listened to him play his guitar, trying to help him out of his slump. During this time we find out that Roderick does not live in the house alone his sister, Madeline, who we find has a mysterious sickness, walks by them a single time and is not see or heard from again until her death. (5) Roderick’s sister dies and he asks his friend to help him in the arrangements of her temporary entombment....
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