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 the narrator believe he hears when he reads about the hero slaying the creature?

2. What does the narrator note about the mansion's walls?

3. What does Usher try to overcome in the presence of the narrator according to the narrator?

4. What does Usher hope to gain from the narrator?

5. For what does Usher think his sister will upbraid him?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does the narrator do before actually going inside the House of Usher?

3. Why does the narrator think the vault was used in more recent times to store gunpowder?

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

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

6. Why is the narrator on his way to the House of Usher?

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

8. Why is the narrator unable to shake off his feelings of uneasiness the night of the storm?

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

10. What does the narrator say about Roderick's face?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Poe does an exemplary job of portraying gloom, fear and horror.

Discuss some of the techniques Poe uses to elicit the emotions he wants from the reader. Use examples from The Fall of the House of Usher to support your reasoning.

(see the answer keys)

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