Literary Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was a writer during the 19th century who was unresponsive to most of the common themes of Romanticism; nature, the past, and human nature. He only took an interest in human nature, as his short stories and poems are about the human psyche, fears, and death. His writings were morbid, melancholic, and frightful. They were often about death, possibly a fear that shone through his writings. Poe’s intent was to provoke a horror filled response from the reader through his diction and themes. Poe’s consistent use of dark and gloomy diction creates a mood of horror, dread, and menace in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Raven,” and, “The Bells.”
In the short story “The Fall of The House of Usher,” Poe creates an apprehensive feeling about his story at the very beginning by relentlessly using dreadful diction. The narrator is walking through a country region where it was “dull, dark, and soundless” (160). On this day, “the clouds hung oppressively low,” as if trapping the narrator under the unbearable weight of the sky (160). As the story continues the feeling of fear increases when “insufferable gloom” pervades the narrator’s spirit upon seeing the house. The house is described as the “mansion of gloom” (160). The narrator is going to aide his childhood friend, Roderick Usher, in the time of his illness. At the moment he scans the house, he sees a barely visible crack from the roof to the tarn under the house, which foreshadows to the literal and figurative “fall of the House of Usher.” During his stay, the house was always dark and never lively As the narrator starts to understand Roderick, he realizes that Roderick is trapped within an evil and hideous mind; “as a closer intimacy admitted me more… into the recesses of his spirit, the more bitterly I did perceive the futility of all attempt at cheering a mind from which darkness… poured forth upon all objects… one unceasing radiation of gloom” (166). A...
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