The Fall of the House of Usher Overview

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Fall of the House of Usher.
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"The Fall of the House of Usher" is one of Poe's most popular short stories.

Moreover, analyzing this story provides a basis for understandin g Poe's gothicism and his literary theories. As in all of Poe's short stories, "The Fall of the House of Usher" concentrates on a "single effect"—in this case, the degeneration and decay of the Usher house and family. In the story's opening, for example, the narrator comments upon the "insufferable gloom" that pervades his being as he notices the "few rank sedges," the "white trunks of decayed trees," the unruffled luster of the "black and lurid tarn," and the house's vacant "eye-like windows." Once inside, the details increase: the "antique and tattered" furniture and the other furnishings that "failed to give any vitality to the scene."

In addition, the narrator emphasizes Roderick Usher's wildly fluctuating physical and mental states and Madeline Usher's "settled...

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This section contains 215 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.