Poe Discussion

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Read this document https://www.poemuseum.org/the-fall-of-the-house-of-usher.

In about 300 words respond to the following. Reply (in a substantive way) to two other posts.

Look carefully at the first paragraph of the “House of Usher.” What dominant moods or feelings does it conjure? How does it do this–what specific words, phrases, or details contribute to the tone? Do these feelings emanate from the house itself or from the narrator’s perception of it?

What kind of relationship does the narrator have with Roderick Usher? Remember that everything we come to know about Roderick is filtered through the narrator–how does the narrator go about constructing Roderick’s character? What qualities or characteristics does he emphasize? Can you pick out a few words or phrases that he attaches to Roderick? Why does he seem so interested in Roderick’s state of mind? How do artistic sensibilities feed into the narrator’s portrait of Roderick?

Why do you suppose Poe includes other narratives/verses within the story (such as the poem on page 1540-41 and the “Mad Trist” story on page 1545)? How do these framed tales comment or reflect upon the main narrative? What does their inclusion say about reading or perception in general?

Roderick and Madeline Usher are twins. What other images of twins and/or doubles do you see in the story? What might we make of them?

How do the men in the story react to Madeline Usher? What kind of presence does she have in the story?


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