12/5/2019 0 Comments
Metaphoric Images in Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher"
"The Fall of the House of Usher," one of Edgar Allen Poe's most celebrated tales has captured the imagination of readers both young and old. With great skill, Poe has metaphorically succeeded to mirror unlike objects in nature. One can find examples of how Poe has succeeded this throughout this short story. Among one of the first examples that one can find is "...that ancient metaphor for the body...(Montgomery 373)." The "ancient metaphor" that one can find is that of Roderick Usher and the later being the Usher house. With some close reading of the story, one can see how these two unlike objects mirror each other. To commence an analysis of the different examples found in the story, one must get some brief some brief background information. Roderick Usher was excessively reserved during his childhood and there after. Roderick was the product of inbreeding which had caused him to lead a rather unhealthy life. According to Magill in the book Masterpieces of World Literature, since the Usher family had left only a direct line of descendants, the family and the house had become as one, the House of Usher(291). One can argue that this is true, but in my opinion, the relationship between the house and Roderick can be found in their descriptions. The story's narrator describes Roderick as more zombielike than human. This is due to Roderick's cadaverous facial complexion: large, luminous eyes, thin and very pallid lips, his nose of "a delicate Hebrew model," his small molded chin, broad forehead, and his soft and weblike hair(Magill 364). Throughout the story, the narrator describes Roderick's large eyes and hair with having a "wild gossamer texture" (Thompson 96). Roderick's unhealthy life has caused side effects to occur. They include such things as looking old for his age and at times trembling for no apparent reason (Bloom 60). The House of Usher is also similar to Roderick in their description. The house's facade, as the narrator describes, resembles a giant face or skull with its eye-like windows and the hairlike fungi that hangs on the house's facade(Magill 364). The stonework that covers the Usher house is in decay. This stonework reminds the narrator "...of old wood-work which has rotten for long years in some neglected vault." (Bloom59). The Usher House seems so fragile that it seems its instability will cause it to fall(59).
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