In the early 19th century when Poe lived, the United States was an important time for the foundation of literary development with national development. American literature has come to the American Romantic era by pursuing its own free expression based on the New World America. In my opinion, “The fall of the house of Usher” is a form that has a relatively realistic thinking about superstition and introduces a speaker who wants to think scientifically and shows the fantastic and bizarre experiences for the reader on behalf of the reader.
This novel is a representative novel that expresses the fantasy and mystery as the American romanticism literally. As well, the writer refers to “the exploration of human psychology and self” through the novel. He used the theme to create gruesome horror novels that stimulate fundamental fears among humans. First, let me introduce the characters in the novel. There are only three characters in the novel. The narrator (this novel is made up of the first person), Roderick Usher and Madeline Usher.
In this novel, information about the narrator is given he is old friend of Roderick, and he visits the mansion because Roderick’s invitation. The narrator takes care of Roderick as a faithful friend, but the narrator isn’t directly involved in solving problems in the novel. He only observes Roderick and his sister and the environment. So, I think that the narrator is the reader, and the reader is the narrator. Next, Roderick is a major figure in this story. He suffers from morbidity.
For example, he can only wear specific textures of clothing, and all the smells and all the light hurt him. Last, Roderick’s twin sister Madeline has long been Roderick’s companion, and she is Roderick’s second ANIMA. She suffers from alcohol and sleepwalking and doesn’t know the world around her at all. She has cataleptic that makes her helpless and has a deep effect on Roderick.Second, the conflict in the novel begins with Roderick and Madeline.
Roderick was afraid of the impact he had on his sister so, he buries her alive. However, Madeline doesn’t die. Instead, she comes back to take revenge on Roderick who tried to kill her. When she kills him, the conflict between the two reaches its peak. The mansion collapse centrally the crack line when Madeline and Roderick died. I think this scene fights who will take the “I” and eventually succumbs to fighting both selves and losing “I” The writer warns readers that if they lose their self, they become like RoderickThird, the setting of the novel is Usher’s mansion, southern Paris, France. Overall, the mansion is gloomy.
For example, according to the story, the narrator describes the house as resembling the image of a face or a skull with eye-like windows, and hair of fungus. This depressing house shape gives a supernatural atmosphere. This mansion refers Roderick’s ego as well. There is a “crack line” in the middle of the mansion exterior. This crack line suggests that Roderick’s ego is separated into two anima of Roderick and Madeline. As the relationship between the characters deteriorates, the crack line becomes longer and later, the crack line helps to collapse the house. This expression shows Roderick’s self is falling down.Next, the novel mood is totally terrifying.
Because Poe’s expression is the Gothic interior in the house, including the desolate environment around the mansion, creating a horror atmosphere. According to the story, “Another servant, of quiet step, led me without a word through many dark turnings to the room of his master. I don’t know how to do that, I have already spoken. While the objects around me – the dark wall coverings, the blackness of the floors …” Before the start of the novel, the author suggests that this novel isn’t a normal story by quoting one of Pierre Béranger’s poem “Le Refus”.
” During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens … ” As well, the speaker reads Roderick’s Gothic novel, it overlaps the sound of the Madeline coffin splitting up from the basement. This scene made the novel more terrifying.As I said before, the author referred to “the exploration of human psychology and self” through novels.
He was worried that he would have psychosis when he was alive. I think that the author seems to express his insecurity about his psychological feelings and the consideration about his anima through this novel.As for me, this novel was interested. Actually, I’m not first to read this book. Because I like reading mystery authors’ novels such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Miyabe Miyuki, including Edgar Allan Poe.
When I read many novels, I found out that even the same mystery novelist has different writing style. Poe focuses primarily on human self and psychology. Especially, this book has a humanistic and psychological plot and a gothic atmosphere. I think that these make the novel more horrific, impressive fantastic and sensual. As I mentioned earlier, the main theme of this novel is “the quest for human psychology and self”.
I think it is important to find self. Because, by looking for the self, it makes it exist as “I” and it also makes me don’t forget about myself. If you lose “I”, your self will fall down like the end of a novel. It was very impressive that I could read the traces of the author’s thought through the novel.