Literary Qualities of The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

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Poe's literary skill is readily apparent in "The Fall of the House of Usher," and one of his most vivid techniques is the story's tone. Poe chooses details that highlight the terror of near madness, premature burial, and death and destruction. Foremost is his description of the gloomy Usher house, and the fissure that seems to extend from the house's roof to the "sullen waters of the tarn."

Equally important in setting the tone is the violent storm on a night that is "singular in its terror and beauty." The thunder crashes, the lightning bolts flash, and the wind howls as Madeline makes her way from the tomb to the door of Roderick's study. Roderick's and Madeline's deaths are further heightened as the narrator notes that the "blood-red moon . . . now shone vividly through the once barely discernible fissure."

Another literary device used masterfully by Poe is foreshadowing. Roderick's...

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This section contains 314 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Fall of the House of Usher Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Fall of the House of Usher from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.