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. Whose last waltz does the narrator hold a painful memory?

2. How does Usher react to bright light?

3. In what was much of the vault beneath the narrator's apartments sheathed?

4. What spreads over the entire exterior of the mansion?

5. How does the narrator describe the window panes?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the narrator feel as he approaches the House of Usher?

2. What does the narrator do in response to his feelings of unease and who joins him?

3. What seems to be happening in "real" time as the narrator reads?

4. How does the narrator describe the vault where they lay Madeline's coffin?

5. What type of struggle is going on within Roderick?

6. What does Roderick seem to vacillate between?

7. What does Roderick say drives him to despair?

8. Why does the narrator think the house and the family are both called "The House of Usher"?

9. What does Roderick say in reply to the narrator's comment about how Roderick and Madeline resemble each other?

10. To what does Roderick say part of his mental state can be traced?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all stories.

Compare/contrast the characters of Roderick and Lady Madeline. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Be specific and give examples. Compare/contrast the characters of Roderick and the narrator. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

Essay Topic 2

The narrator approaches the House of Usher with great trepidation when he sees the disrepair. He is telling the story of visiting a friend.

It might occur to the reader that the main character is the narrator but the story gives very little information about him. Discuss how it affects the story not knowing much about the narrator. Use examples from The Fall of the House of Usher to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 3

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character.

Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not? Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a story such as The Fall of the House of Usher help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading The Fall of the House of Usher? Why or why not. Use examples from The Fall of the House of Usher and your own life to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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