The Tell Tale Heart And The Fall Of The House Of Usher, By Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe faced many trials and tribulation throughout his horrific life. Poe’s despair-filled life seemed to be a piece of Gothic literature brought to reality. These life experiences lead Poe to be one of the world’s greatest Gothic writers, and produce several well-known Gothic stories. Poe’s works contain many Gothic elements like fear, gloom, death, the supernatural, and horror, as well as several romantic characteristics, such as high emotions, nature and a focus on individuality. The short stories “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe contain many of these elements, and in this paper I will analyze why these are classified as Gothic stories. The first attribute that categorizes Poe’s works …show more content…
Edgar Allan Poe not only incorporates death into his stories, but he does so in a gruesome manner that creates a sense of horror. In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe describes the gruesome situation of being buried alive in the following passage: "We have put her living in the tomb" (Poe 141). Madeline Usher seemed to perish, but she mysteriously comes back to life. Poe also depicts the supernatural by having Madeline Usher come back from death, and take the life of her brother. This event is both supernatural, as well as, gruesome and that is evident in the following passage: "As if in the superhuman...terrors he had anticipated" (Poe 142). After Madeline returns from the dead and takes the life of her brother, the House itself collapses. Through Poe’s decaying descriptions of the House, it is evident that the House and its surrounding landscape is a symbol of the Usher family lineage (Robinson 69-70). The end of the Usher family lineage is represented by the falling of the House of Usher. The presence of a gruesome death is also apparent in “The Tell-Tale Heart”. In this story, Poe describes in detail the preparation for the murder, and the extent of detail develops fear. Once the awful crime was committed, the way the corpse was handled was extremely graphic, and that is evident in the following passage: “The old man was…detected any thing wrong” (Poe 125). Edgar …show more content…
Gothic literature is a subset of the greater genre Romanticism, and Edgar Allan Poe distorts some Romantic elements to imply a darker meaning. Some of the Romantic elements that Poe employs are high emotions, nature and a focus on individuality. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”, there is a focus on individual beliefs and emotion responses to situations. These two pillars of Romanticism as twisted by Poe in “The Tell-Tale Heart” to suit his dark style of writing, and that is evident in the following passage: “True! – nervous – very, very…you the whole story” (Poe 122). In this passage, Poe depicts the emotion and individual beliefs of the narrator. The concept of involving nature to develop sensations is another Romantic element used by Poe in “The Fall of the House of Usher”. The method to portray the natural surroundings of the House of Usher is used to support the theme of gloom/despair, and directly relates to the emotional state of the characters, as well as the physical state of the house. The effect of nature on the story is evident in the following passage: “During the whole…the desolate or terrible” (Poe 127). Poe’s dark use of Romantic elements even further classifies these two stories as Gothic

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