The House Of Usher: The Most Important Character In Poe's Short Story

Words: 1909
Pages: 8

Paula Ortiz
Professor Mullinax
ENGL 1302, Section 2
11th March 2016

The House of Usher, The Most Important Character in Poe’s Short Story

According to Charles Brower (“Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe” Simon and Schuster, 2007:378-380), “the presence of doubles in characters’ lives and the apparent possibility of life after death are recurrent themes in Poe’s stories. The Fall of the House of Usher, considered by many critics to be Poe’s best story, is a narration that follows the theme of mind over matter”. However, an extra paramount element that helps establish the mood and that immerses us into a typically gothic story with all its components, is the setting. Since the very beginning, we know that a key “character” of this short story is the House of Usher itself; a place more vividly shown, with all its features and feelings, than the actual flesh and bones personages that surround this gothic universe created by the author’s mastermind. In this essay, I
…show more content…
Modern Language Notes 75.2 (1960): 109–111.J STOR. Web. 9 March 2016.), “Roderick Usher’s psychic condition is directly related to the illness of his twin sister because Madeline, like the other William Wilson, Ligeia, and the pursued criminal in “The Man in the Crowd” is actually a visible embodiment of the alter ego”. For Stein, Madeline “stands for the emotional or instinctive side of her brother’s personality, which has decayed under the domination of the intellect. These repressed feelings ultimately revolt against such tyranny”. According to Stein, “this turn of events is symbolized in the disappearance of the house and its occupants (here he points to the head and its monarch “Thought” in the poem “The Haunted Palace”) into the storm-tossed waters of the tarn”. In sum, Stein affirms, “the outraged unconscious swallows up all conscious authority, and Roderick is rendered completely