analysis on 3 specific objects in Fall of House of usher : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

ok, i'm doing a term paper on the symbolism of death portrayed through out the fall of the house of usher... i'm using her being buried alive as one... the gothic and bleak look of the house and the weather throughout the whole story as another, and the actuall fall of the house of usher...

can someone please give me specific events in which i could anaylize the symbolism of the 3 situations (ex... when the raven comes knocking upon the window each night, this coud be analyized as never giving up on the ones you love... understand?)

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2001


Dear Ashleigh,

First of all, naughty, naughty!! I can tell that you haven't really been paying very much attention to Poe's works at all since you have confused his tale "The Fall of The House of Usher" with his poem "The Raven". It would be a good idea, therefore, to read through "usher" again, just so that you can clarify things by disentangling one from the other.

As far as your question on analysing three specific objects in the tale goes, you have chosen three fairly good areas on which to work upon (although I would question your choice of word, ie "object", and perhaps it would be better to replace this with "subject" or "theme" or "concept", since gothic settings, burials, and the downfall of Usher aren't actually objects as such).

It is fundamental that you determine just what exactly you are going to discuss (ie your overarching hypothesis or argument) before trying to write your essay out. Since you are going to look at "death" you need to develop some approaches about the importance that "death" plays in the tale, and in fact question yourself about what you mean by "the symbolism of death": do you mean the way in which death is represented in the tale? do you want to investigate premature burials? decay and corruption? death as an infectious disease? or what...?

For example, if you wish to write about the relationship between symbolism and premature burials, you may want to examine the significance of Roderick's portrait of a tunnel-like shaft which one could argue anticipates the insertion of Madeline into the vault or crypt.

Well, I hope that all this helps you out with your essay, and if you would like to further discuss this, please feel free to e-mail me:

Yours sincerely,


-- Anonymous, April 05, 2001

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