Literary Analysis of Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" Essay

1088 Words Apr 6th, 2006 5 Pages
Fear is a human characteristic that everyone must struggle with. This theme is a universal one which everyone can relate to however, it is also a difficult one to capture within a short story. Edgar Allan Poe is one of the few classic writers who are able to achieve this feat. His story "The Fall of the House of Usher" is centred around the central idea of the impact of fear on one's life. His parable talks about facing your fears and the self-destruction that can come by allowing fear to run your life. Through his Gothic romantic style of writing, Poe includes elements such as a dark atmosphere, a mysterious setting, and symbolic characters in order to highlight the power and effect of fear on one's life. "The Fall of the House of Usher" …show more content…
He tells the narrator that he suffers from nerves and fear, causing his senses to be heightened and intensifying his fear.
I must perish in this deplorable folly. Thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost. I dread the events of the future, not in themselves, but in their results. I shudder at the thought of any, even the most trivial, incident, which may operate upon this intolerable agitation of soul. I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect--in terror. In this unnerved--in this pitiable condition--I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR (20).

Roderick's state displays the connection between body and mind, and how their interdependence means their mutual decay. Eventually fear causes the destruction of Roderick's mind and soon follows the destruction of his physical body. He becomes "a victim to the terrors he had anticipated" (29) and he dies of fear. The narrator experienced fear as well throughout this story however, in the end he chooses a path different from Roderick's. He has spent his time allowing his fears to hold him captive, but when he sees Roderick fall victim to his fears, the narrator finally can see the destruction it is causing. It gives him the strength and the means by which to escape his fears, as he runs from the house. As he takes

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