The Fall of the House of Usher Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What color does the narrator say are the floors in the house of Usher?

2. Why does Usher want to wait a fortnight?

3. What is the setting of the picture the narrator describes?

4. What does the narrator say is "cadaverously wan"?

5. What fell down at the feet of the hero?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the narrator say about his friendship with Roderick Usher?

2. What does Roderick seem to vacillate between?

3. To what does the narrator attribute the changes in Roderick?

4. What is the significance of the small volume titled “Directorium Inquisitorium,” by the Dominican Eymeric de Gironne?

5. What does the narrator attempt to do for several days, and then what does he conclude about his attempts?

6. What does the narrator notice Roderick doing as they hear a clanging sound at the same time the book mentions the same such sound?

7. What is the only instrument Roderick can tolerate hearing?

8. How does Roderick explain his invitation to a visit by the narrator?

9. What had Roderick written to the narrator to get the narrator to come visit?

10. What is Roderick's response to Madeline falling upon him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Fall of the House of Usher belongs to the gothic horror genre.

Define the literary term "genre" and name three other genres in addition to the gothic horror genre. What are the advantages and disadvantages of assigning a genre to a story? What do you think is the difference between a gothic horror and a historical story or mystery?

Essay Topic 2

Poe includes a poem, The Haunted Palace, in the story which he later publishes separately.

Discuss the meaning the poem has to the story. Use examples from The Fall of the House of Usher to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 3

Poe wrote in a different era and culture then the present. Some of the language will seem archaic to modern readers.

Do you think a story or story written so long ago is still relevant to today’s readers? What might make The Fall of the House of Usher a timeless story? Use examples from The Fall of the House of Usher to support your reasoning.

(see the answer keys)

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