Edgar Allen Poe's Symbolism Of Death In "The Fall Of The House Of Usher"



Death is defined as, "The termination or extinction of something"
(American Heritage Dictionary). Edgar Allen Poe uses this description in
"The Fall of the House of Usher" in different ways. Poe's intention when
writing "The Fall of the House of Usher" was not to present a moral, lesson,
or truth to the reader; he was simply trying to bring forth a sense of
terror to the reader. Poe's mind works this way, and critics believe this
statement, especially when related to this story.
Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. His life
was filled with tragedies that started when he was ten months old and until
he died at age forty. These tragedies might be the answer to why ...

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of Romanticism, "The
Fall of the House of Usher", falls into the Gothic category. "It is
usually admired for its ‘atmosphere' and for its exquisitely artificial
manipulation of Gothic claptrap and decor"(Abel, 380).
Bringing forth the symbolism of death is a major part of this
writing. All of the characters in "The Fall of the House of Usher" are
linked to death; by physical objects or by other people. "There are no
symbols of absolute good" (Abel, 382).
The physical aspect of the House of Usher symbolizes death, in the
chain of events, during the story. Even Poe's description of the house has
deadly characteristics. Poe describes the house as having "eye-like
windows" and being covered by "minute fungi…hanging in a fine tangled web-
work from the eaves (fungi eats off the dead remains of other organisms); a
barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building
in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it ...

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of her disease that Roderick feared that they would steal her
body for pathologic reasons.
Poe uses this whole scenario to show that Roderick really cared for
his sister. It was as though they were one being, relying on each other
for life; "—a brother, his twin sister, and their incredibly ancient house
all sharing a single soul and meeting one common dissolution at the same
moment"(Lovecraft, 380). Once Madeline died, Roderick had lost part of
himself. Madeline was his connection in the human "realm". He knew that
his love would eventually kill her, and it did. They loved without any
resistance and eventually dragged each other to death. "For the Holy Ghost
says you ...

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"Edgar Allen Poe's Symbolism Of Death In "The Fall Of The House Of Usher"." Essayworld.com. April 17, 2005. Accessed July 21, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Edgar-Allen-Poes-Symbolism-Death-Fall/25512.
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Added: 4/17/2005 08:54:10 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1662
Pages: 7

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