Essay on The Fall Of The House Of Usher, By Edgar Allan Poe

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A doppelgänger, literally a “double-goer”, is a double of a person taking the form of either another individual or paranormal phenomena. In Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic tale, The Fall of the House Of Usher, he uses the motif of duality, and it’s inverse in order to represent mental illness and the interconnectedness of the body and mind. In the work, the dilapidated mansion is used to mirror the mental state of its inhabitants. Through descriptive imagery of the structure, Poe provides insight into the Roderick’s current and future mental state. The relationship Roderick and his sister Madeline is dichotic in nature and mirror the connection between one’s body and mind. Roderick, the embodiment of the human intellect or the mind, is physically disconnected from the world due to an unknown illness that robbed him of his senses. Madeline, who suffers from seizures, is a representation of the body or one’s somatic involvement with the environment. When together, the two function harmoniously. However, when apart, the two crumble. Poe’s masterpiece highlights the descent into madness and the relationship between the body and mind through the use mirroring. In the story, the condition of the Usher’s home and along with its distinct features mirrors the nature of Roderick’s mental state. Initially, the tattered yet still standing estate emulates the condition of Roderick when we meet him. Physically, the house resembles Usher’s who boasts a “cadaverous…complexion” yet his…

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