Fall of the House of Usher Essay

Total Length: 550 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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Poe's The Fall Of The House Of Usher

Of all the authors to employ use of the Gothic style in their poetry or prose, none mastered the craft more than Edgar Allen Poe. The classic American fiction writer specialized in fostering a unique sense of dread and terror for his readers by successfully using elements of the Gothic genre such as the grotesque, or distorted imagery and setting, mysterious circumstances and a slowly building and suspenseful pace. The short story which best displays Poe's use of Gothic literary themes is believed by many to be The Fall of the House of Usher, his hauntingly disturbing depiction of a man's descent into madness and the consequences that unbridled fear can ultimately have. Considered to be a masterpiece of Gothic prose, Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher touches on all of the centerpieces of the genre, including perfectly chosen diction which evokes an atmosphere of gloom, the presence of a crumbling castle setting, supernatural circumstances which cannot be explained and a secret which is withheld from the reader until the climax.
By examining the literary strategies Poe takes advantage of in The Fall of the House of Usher, it is possible to gain a better understanding of the Gothic style as a whole.

Poe immediately grips the reader with a jarring description of a "dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens" and his choice of descriptive words heightens the sense of fear. Other words such as "dreary," "melancholy," "insufferable gloom," "bleak" and "utter depression of the soul" all enhance the foreboding feeling….....

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