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The Fall of the House of Usher

  • Date Submitted: 03/17/2010 11:08 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.6 
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The Fall of the House of Usher

“ With an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium- the bitter lapse into every day life- the hideous dropping off of the veil.” The story starts in a frightening and scary ambiance, as described in the quote mentioned above. The narrator talks about an environment, which is hard to distinguish if it is a reality or a dream. In the quote the narrator describes his mood and the atmosphere of Usher’s house, from the outside, at the first glance of the house. In the beginning paragraphs of the tale, the narrator talks about the house and the sickness of the Usher. The unnamed narrator is a friend of Roderick Usher.   Upon receiving a letter from Usher who is suffering from a body illness the narrator decides to visit him at his house. Knowing he is under the influence of opium, and the way he describes certain subjects, it is hard to say if the narrator is reliable or not. After reading the story, I believe the narrator is somewhat unreliable. The parts that the narrator talks about Madeline, and also the last part when he is explaining the falling of the house, clearly implies that he is not so realistic.  
“While he spoke, the lady Madeline (for so was she called) passed slowly through a remote portion of the apartment, and, without having noticed my presence, disappeared.” Isn’t this quote like a dream? It seems like Madeline is a ghost, who just came into the view of the narrator, without noticing him and disappeared like she never was there. Madeline, Usher’s sister, was extremely sick and her disease was “a settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person, and frequent although transient affection of a partially cataleptical character.” Once Usher thought Madeline’s died so he and the narrator buried her in a vault in the house. Madeline was alive and Usher and the narrator could hear her screaming and struggling, so why didn’t...


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