the fall of the house of usher : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Hi , I am a fan of Edgar Allan Poe and i would like you to answer some of my questions: 1. What does the house symbolizes ? 2. How does the curse of the house affect the story? 3. Tell me something about Roderick4s disease 4. Why did the house fall down? 5. tell me about Madelaine 6. What is your opinion about the story?

I really need your help , because is for the school and my teacher has no heart!!!

-- Anonymous, October 05, 2000


You may find this link to be of help:

-- Anonymous, October 06, 2000

According to some critics (room allowed for disagreement)... (1) The House is symbolic of the Ushers themselves; at one time, they were rich (wealth, prestige, beneficence, greatness, etc.), but they dwindled down to what they are in the tale, with both the House and the Ushers (Madeline and Roderick) succumbing to destruction. In other words, the House represents the Ushers and the Ushers represent the House. (2) Some critics believe the curse is incest. Notice the references in the text to the "lineage" of the Ushers: "the stem of the Usher race...had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch." Other quotes within the text seem to support that as well. With Madeline and Roderick being the sole survivors--and with her catatonia--the Ushers are dying out. And this goes back to #1: the Ushers and the House are intertwined. (3) Incest. (Like I said earlier, this is according to some critics.) (4) The House died as the Ushers themselves died. (This goes back to #1.) (5) Madeline is Roderick's twin and, according to some critics, represents forbidden desires. In the tale, it's almost as if she is dead--a ghost--already as she floats past the narrator like some ethereal creature. (If one were to apply a Freudian-type critique, then Madeline would play a greater role, with the three characters--Roderick, the narrator, and Madeline--representing the id, the ego and the superego.) (6) I, personally, like the story and think that it is one of Poe's richest short stories. (7) I know that you had no #7, but I will interject this. If you are looking for mirror images, there is much, much, much to be found: the house is reflected in the tarn; the landscape parallels the death and decay of the House; the Ushers mirror the House; the painting mirrors the vault; the Ushers mirror each other (they are twins); the tattered room to which the narrator is first ushered (no pun intended) mirrors Roderick's mental state; the poem/song mirrors the story; etc. (BTW, the poem was written first and is thought to be the seed from which "The Fall of the House of Usher" originated.) Enough playing for now...hope that helps.

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000

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