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 does Usher do after shading his lamp's light?

2. What does the narrator say Roderick Usher painted?

3. What does Usher do when Madeline passes through the apartment?

4. What does the narrator say is "stern, deep, and irredeemable"?

5. Who first occupies the place the lyrics describe?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. For what purpose and when was the vault used in previous times?

3. How does the narrator attempt to calm Roderick?

4. How does the narrator respond to Roderick's increasing instability?

5. How does the narrator help Roderick regarding Roderick's deceased sister?

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

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

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

9. How does the narrator react upon first seeing Roderick?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The narrator gives a detailed description of the House of Usher as he first encounters it. The house appears to also symbolize Roderick and Lady Madeline.

What physical descriptions of the house seem to relate to Roderick? What ones seem to relate to Lady Madeline? Use examples from The Fall of the House of Usher to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

Do you think most people want a happy ending in a story? If most people want a happy ending how do you think the ending of The Fall of the House of Usher leaves the reader feeling? What do you think are three reasons to read fiction and do you think The Fall of the House of Usher fulfills these three reasons? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Often, authors will write about what they know, and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the story more interesting.

Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Edgar Allan Poe. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her stories? Why or why not? Give examples. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Poe's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the story and discuss Poe's probable agenda concerning that idea.

(see the answer keys)

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