On "The Fall of the House of Usher"

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The poet Richard Wilbur one commented, "'The Fall of the House of Usher' is a journey into the depths of the self." How is this true?

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2000


I believe that Richard Wilbur was talking about how the House in the story represented Rodericks own self. Such as the crack in the wall represented the crack in Rodericks mental and physical being. Basically, the house is falling apart as is Roderick and as they both do (being Roderick and the house)at the end.

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2000

could you e-mail me your research on the edgar allan poe. thank you.

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

It's been a long time since I studied the "Fall of the House of Usher" in a Freudian context. If that is what you are looking for, then each of the characters (the narrator, Madeline, and Roderick) represent the three components of self: the id, the ego, and the superego. If you go to http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/Literary_Criticism/psychoanalysis/ you can find some more info on psychoanalysis and a rather basic explanation of the three zones. As someone mentioned above, there are numerous mirror images within the tale, with the House representing the Ushers or the Ushers representing the House. The two are so intertwined that there is no/little distinguishing them. But if you are looking only for criticism supporting the "self" in the tale, then you are probably looking at the Freudian concept of the id, ego, and superego being personified in each of the three characters. Your best bet on getting secondary criticism on this would be to hit the literary journals in your local university and/or college library.

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000

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