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There are 26 critical essays on The Fall of the House of Usher.

Critical Essays on The Fall of the House of Usher
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Critical Essay by Richard Wilbur
8,894 words, approx. 30 pages
In the following essay, originally delivered as a lecture to the Library of Congress in 1959, Wilbur discusses Poe's allegorical representation of the poetic soul in conflict with the external world, especially as it is demonstrated in "The Fall of the House of Usher. "
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Critical Essay by Cynthia S. Jordan
7,503 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Jordan focuses on Poe's treatment of crimes against women, comparing his writing to that of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Jordan proposes that Poe's women-centered tales allow him to explore issues that go beyond the imaginative limits of male-authored fiction, and that “The Fall of the House of Usher” marks the beginning of this style of storytelling for Poe.
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Critical Essay by Louise J. Kaplan
7,291 words, approx. 24 pages
Kaplan is an American psychoanalyst. In the following essay, she presents a psychoanalytic interpretation of "The Fall of the House of Usher."
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Critical Essay by Harriet Hustis
7,126 words, approx. 24 pages
In the following essay, Hustis provides a brief history of Poe's reception as a writer within American critical circles, noting that the ambiguity of Poe's texts, among them “The Fall of the House of Usher,” has led to debate on whether his writings belong within the American literary canon.
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Critical Essay by Craig Howes
7,109 words, approx. 24 pages
In the following essay, Howes explores “The Fall of the House of Usher” as it relates to the concept of genre, focusing on the way the tale goes beyond the limitations imposed by stylistic conventions.
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Critical Essay by Frederick S. Frank
7,098 words, approx. 24 pages
Frank is an American educator and critic with a special interest in Gothic literature. In the following essay, he argues that the true villain of "The Fall of the House of Usher" is the narrator himself who has failed to recognize the limitations of his narrowly rationalistic mind.
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Critical Essay by Jack G. Voller
6,900 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Voller contends that “The Fall of the House of Usher” represents a rejection of the theories of sublimity offered by Burke and Kant, and instead focuses on terrors and emotions that could not be easily explained in the context of the optimistic aesthetic proffered by Burke and Kant.
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Critical Essay by Mark Kinkead-Weekes
6,592 words, approx. 22 pages
Kinkead-Weekes is a South-African born English educator and critic. In the following essay, he focuses on the reliability of the narrator in "The Fall of the House of Usher. "
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Critical Essay by Kent Ljungquist
6,152 words, approx. 21 pages
In the following essay, Ljungquist discusses Poe's pictorial technique and the role of neoclassical and Romantic aesthetic theories in the context of “The Fall of the House of Usher.”
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Critical Essay by Benjamin Franklin Fisher IV
5,559 words, approx. 19 pages
Fisher is an American educator and critic with a special interest in the work of Edgar Allan Poe. In the following essay, he analyzes "The Fall of the House of Usher" as a parody of Gothic literature.
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Critical Essay by George R. Uba
5,127 words, approx. 17 pages
In the following essay, Uba diagnoses the cause of the Ushers ' strange maladies by relating them to medical and psychological knowledge current at the time Poe wrote "The Fall of the House of Usher. "
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Critical Essay by Beverly R. Voloshin
5,012 words, approx. 17 pages
In the following essay, Voloshin examines “The Fall of the House of Usher” as a unique variation of the gothic genre of short fiction that blends natural, preternatural, and supernatural elements to create an unusually haunting effect.
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Critical Essay by Craig Howes
4,703 words, approx. 16 pages
In the following essay, Howes presents an interpretation of “The Fall of the House of Usher” as an elegiac romance, a form of storytelling that blends romance and elegy to present the tale of a heroic figure through the eyes of a narrator embarked on a quest.
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Critical Essay by D. H. Lawrence
4,688 words, approx. 16 pages
Lawrence was a modern English novelist, poet, and essayist noted for his introduction of the themes of modern psychology to English fiction. In his lifetime, he was a controversial figure, both for the explicit sexuality he portrayed in his works and for his unconventional personal life. Much of the criticism of Lawrence's works concerns his highly individualistic moral system, which was based on absolute freedom of expression, particularly sexual expression. Human sexuality was for Lawrence a symbo...
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Critical Essay by James W. Gargano
4,590 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Gargano theorizes that the inability of the characters in Poe's “The Fall of the House of Usher” to explain their ordeal is a result of the apocalyptic vision of the narrator, who views events in the Usher house as symbolic representations of the destruction of the world.
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Critical Essay by G. R. Thompson
4,530 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Thompson offers a reading of
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Critical Essay by Diane Long Hoeveler
4,524 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Hoeveler examines the figure of Madeline Usher, whose tomb seems to offer the reader some ultimate truth; however, it is, according to the critic, a truth that does not actually exist.
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Critical Essay by Leila S. May
4,484 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, May discusses sibling relationships in the context of nineteenth-century literature, citing “The Fall of the House of Usher” as a prophetic tale anticipating the collapse of a society that assumed the security of the family bond.
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Critical Essay by Darrel Abel
4,316 words, approx. 14 pages
In the following essay, originally published in 1949, Abel offers a symbolic interpretation of "The Fall of the House of Usher. "
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Critical Essay by Joel Porte
3,328 words, approx. 11 pages
Porte is an American educator and critic. In the following essay, he observes a conflict between Romantic and Realist attitudes in "The Fall of the House of Usher. "
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Critical Essay by Patrick F. Quinn
3,299 words, approx. 11 pages
In the following essay, Quinn opposes G. R. Thompson's contention that the narrator of "The Fall of the House of Usher" is unreliable.
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Critical Essay by Matthew C. Brennan
3,001 words, approx. 10 pages
In the following essay, Brennan proposes that Poe used an ambiguous prose style in “The Fall of the House of Usher” to convey the psychotic condition of Roderick Usher's mind. Brennan also draws a parallel between the abstract-expressionism of Roderick's painting and actual nineteenth century art.
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Critical Essay by Leila S. May
2,791 words, approx. 9 pages
In the following essay, May undertakes a feminist analysis of the relationship between Madeline and Roderick Usher, and its implications in Victorian society.
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Critical Essay by Lyle H. Kendall, Jr.
2,097 words, approx. 7 pages
Kendall is an American educator and critic. In the following essay, he views Madeline Usher as a vampire.
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Critical Essay by G. R. Thompson
1,971 words, approx. 7 pages
In the following essay, Thompson analyses “The Fall of the House of Usher” as a tale of Gothic fiction.
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Critical Essay by Allen Tate
1,416 words, approx. 5 pages
Tate's criticism is closely associated with two critical movements, the Agrarians and the New Critics. The Agrarians were concerned with political and social issues as well as literature, and were dedicated to preserving the Southern way of life and traditional Southern values. The New Critics, a group which included Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, among others, comprised one of the most influential critical movements of the mid-twentieth century. A conservative thinker and convert to Catholi...


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