Fall of the House of Usher Literary Analysis Essay

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Literary Analysis
As with many of Edgar Allan Poe's pieces, "The Fall of the House of Usher" falls within the definition of American Gothic Literature. According to Prentice Hall Literature, American Gothic Literature is characterized by a bleak or remote setting, macabre or violent incidents, characters being in psychological or physical torment, or a supernatural or otherworldly involvement (311). A story containing these attributes can result in a very frightening or morbid read. In all probability, the reason Poe's stories were written in this fashion is that his personal life was fraught with depression, internal agony, and despair. Evidently this is reflected in "The Fall of the House of Usher." Conjointly, Edgar Allan Poe's "The
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"No pestilence had ever been so fatal, so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and it's seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains and sudden dizziness, and then profits bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour," ("The Masque" 340-341). One would imagine that given Poe's ongoing battle with tuberculosis he was most likely preoccupied with death, which is reflected on both "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Masque of the Red Death." As is well know, one of the symptoms of advanced tuberculosis is the coughing up of blood. Poe uses blood to symbolize death in both stories.
Psychologically and physically tormented characters appear in American Gothic Literature to satisfy the reader's latent desire to participate within the story at a cerebral level. It is important to have the human element in any giving situation so the reader has someone to empathize within the story. Although Roderick and Madeline Usher in "The Fall of the House of Usher" are both certainly delirious, Edgar Allan Poe provides the reader with more examples of Roderick Usher's mental anguish. Roderick Usher vocalizes this towards the