Books and Movies Reviews

Imagery in The Fall of the House

Imagery of the Supernatural in “The Fall of the House of Usher” Edgar Allan Poe’s writings are known for their macabre subject matter. In “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Poe uses the life-like characteristics of an otherwise decaying house as a device for giving the house a supernatural atmosphere. Frank N. Magill explains this concept best when he writes, “Usher feels that it is the form and substance of his family mansion that affects his morale. He believes that, as a result of the arrangement of the stones, the house has taken on life” (1645). From the very beginning of the story, the reader can tell that there is something unusual and almost supernatural about the structure. As the narrator approaches the home of his long-time friend, Roderick Usher, he refers to the house as the “meloncholy House of Usher” (George & Barbara Perkins, 1511). Upon looking at the building, he even describes the feeling he has as “a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit” (Perkins, 1511). Charles Feidelson, Jr. and Paul Brodtkorb, Jr. approach this sense rationally when they write of the narrator incorporating various senses; one being a sixth sense of vague and indescribable realities behind the physical and apparent and another being a clever, reational interpretation of unsensible phenomena (52). Although the narrator tries to view everything he sees in a rational manner, upon seeing the house and its surroundings, he has a heightened sense of superstition. He goes on to say that, “about the whole mansion and domain there hung an atmosphere peculiar to themselves and their immediate vicinity” (Perkins, 1513). This statement indicates that perhaps the house does indeed have supernatural characteristics and that something of an exterordinary sense is actually holding the house intact. Upon entering the house, the narrator becomes increasingly convinced that the house has some supernatural effect on those living there after observing the o


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