Essay on The Fall Of The House Of Usher

1817 Words Oct 11th, 2016 8 Pages
It is often said that people are shaped by the obstacles they face through life and the way they choose to approach them. Many people believe that Edgar Allan Poe used his own knowledge about mental disorders at the time and his own experiences dealing with his mental condition to create a codependent relationship between sick character of Roderick Usher and his sister Madeline Usher in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” As a result of today 's advancement in science and psychology we are all well informed about mental illnesses and their symptoms to be able to easily recognize them. Having been raised by a mother with bipolar disorder I find myself in a position where I can sympathize with the narrator of the story in a very interesting way.
When Poe published "The Fall of the House of Usher" in 1839 mental illnesses were still a mystery to people and these were attributed to being haunted or being able to see, hear ghosts or spirits. In the story Usher describes his illness in a letter directed to his beloved boyhood friend as "a pitiable mental idiosyncrasy which oppressed him" (654). He also referred to his malady as "a family evil...a mere nervous affection, which would undoubtedly soon pass off” (657). After almost 200 hundred years of discoveries in psychology is certain that this was not an odd habit or an eccentric behavior, but rather an anxiety disorder followed by panic attacks. According to the National Institute of Mental Health "the tendency to develop panic…

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