In "The Fall of the House of Usher", do you think the narrator is reliable or do you think he's insane?greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
In "The Fall of the House of Usher", do you think the narrator of the story is reliable of what's actually happening or is he insane just like his friend?
-- Anonymous, January 26, 2003
I think it is important that the narrrator be sane to balance and reveal his friend's fate. Close, in dialogue, able to contrast the old days and the present condtion of Usher and the estate and able to draw the reader in close and escape to witness the collapse of the House AFTER Usher's death. All of this is important considering the principle of symbolic correspondence that binds all the story and its elements- Usher being one part only of the doom. Now check out "Ligeia" where we have NO outside observer except the anxious second wife. The effect on the narrator himself as in other stories in the first person protagonst view is paramount, but is he mad or actually seeing a resurrected Ligeia? Connsidering the small degree of overt supernatural manifestations(but many atmospheric conjunctions of destiny and horror)you can doubt it but only the effect matters to the teller.
-- Anonymous, January 30, 2003