Edgar Allen Poe. maestro of the macabre. was one of the most fecund writers of his clip. His short narratives explore the dark side of life. touching on the kingdom of insanity. decease. panic. and fright. In the psychological thriller. The Fall of the House of Usher. Poe examines the mental mental unsoundness and dissipation of Roderick Usher. In this narrative and his other short narratives. puting. in peculiar architecture and other structural elements contribute significantly to atmosphere and is physically and psychologically symbolic.
Although Ushers mental unwellness is said to be familial. it is the House in which this disease of the head flourishes. The narrative opens on a dull. dark. and silent twenty-four hours in the fall of the twelvemonth. when the clouds hung oppressively low in the celestial spheres. Autumn is chosen because it is a clip when the foliages of trees begin to shrivel off. Adding to the dark atmosphere. Poe ne’er explicitly references where the House of Usher is located geographically. making a sense of indeterminateness and farness. The authour employs similar distant palace scenes in Ligeia and The Masque of the Red Death. In fact. in all three narratives. he neglects to advert when the events occur. further adding to the feeling of edginess. Without a fixed clip and location. the narratives are excluded from the consciousness of the existent universe. Similarly. The Fall of the House of Usher and some of Poes other phantasmagoric narratives including The Pit and the Pendulum and The Masque of the Red Death are set within the confines of an enclosed country. apart from world. In peculiar. the distant scene in the House of Usher represents Ushers physical and psychological isolation.
The House of Usher was built in the Gothic manner. with its sombre tapestries carvings on the ceiling. ebony black floors. and surreal armorial trophies. A Gothic temper. a sense of impossible somberness that pervades the house is created. puting the phase for future bizarre and supernatural happenings. As the storyteller examines this sign of the zodiac of somberness he notes the ghastly tree-sterns and the vacant eye-like Windowss. The house mimics Ushers mental status. The Windowss are vacant and empty merely as Usshers eyes have lost its one time marvelous luster of his young person. The analogue between Usher and the house can be farther analyzed. The phrase House of Usher refers to both the disintegrating physical construction every bit good as the all time-honoured Usher race associating the two as one entity. inseparable and indivisible. Poe emphasizes this symbolism by bodying the house. giving it the anatomy of worlds. comparing its Windowss to eyes. The storyteller views the house as upside down. through the contemplation of the tarn. which shows that something is awry with the household and the house. The rocks which form the foundation of the house. and therefore the household. are crumpling. The sign of the zodiacs one time intricate and consummate architecture is now dilapidated and decrepit. It represents the former glorification of the Usher household every bit good as the impairment and breakability of Ushers mental province.
The stain of ages had been great. Minute fungi overspread the whole outside. hanging in a all right tangled web-work from the eaves. Yet all this was apart from any extraordinary decrepitude. No part of the masonry had fallen and at that place appeared to be a wild incompatibility between its still perfect versions of parts. and the crumpling status of the single rocks.
As the storyteller learns more about the mental status of his friend. the reader discovers the ground why Usher must die. Usher believes that his household is cursed. a host of unnatural esthesiss. He suffers from a morbid acuteness of the senses which in the terminal causes him to travel wholly huffy. Usher has been damned by his household merely as Morella in the short narrative Morella damned her hubby.
The full household ballad in the direct line of descent. Roderick and Madeline are non merely brother and sister but twins who portion understandings of a barely apprehensible nature which connect his mental debasement to her physical diminution. As twins. they were one time a exclusive incorporate entity in their female parents womb. However. now they are physically separated. they each embody an facet of one individual. Madeline the physical. and Roderick the mental. They are one consciousness divided in two organic structures. A crevice that extended from the roof of the house to the tarn is symbolic of the cardinal split in the duplicate personality of Roderick and Madeline. and foreshadows the concluding damnation of the House of Usher.
The Haunted Palace. a verse form that Roderick reads in The Fall of the House of Usher. is a premier illustration or architectural symbolism. In the gap stanzas. a point-by-point comparing between the haunted castle and a adult males caput is made. The pearl and red door is the adult males mouth. ruby stand foring ruddy lips. and pearly stand foring dentitions. Walls are symbolic of tegument. and windows symbolic of eyes. Even the streamers yellow. glorious. aureate can be compared to hair. In the concluding stanzas. the sphere of Thought is disrupted by civil war. and the vale becomes barren. like the sphere of Roderick Usher. The Windowss. or eyes of the castle are no longer aglow but red-litten. possibly stand foring bloodshot eyes. The one time ruby and pearl door has become pale. since ill people have pale lips. This verse form parallels both the House of Usher and Rodericks castle of the head. haunted by incubuss. phantoms. and finally insanity.
The interior design of many of the edifices in Poes plants is symbolic. In The Fall of the House of Usher. hallways and passageways are maze-like. reflecting the nature of Usher. who is a lost rummy or the irredeemable feeder of opium during the periods of his most intense exhilaration. Art. an component of interior design is every bit symbolic. In attempt to buoy up the melancholic air. Roderick and the storyteller pigment. play the guitar and read. Ironically. one of Rodericks pictures does the antonym as his work simply illustrates his terror-struck head. The picture consists of a long. white belowground tunnel that is filled with unnatural visible radiation. despite the fact that there is no distinguishable visible radiation beginning. Not merely does this claustrophobic scene shows Ushers ain isolation in the blasted sign of the zodiac of somberness. it foreshadows the burial of Lady Madeleine.
Rodericks isolation is farther reflected through the Windowss inside the house. They are described as long. narrow and pointed and at so huge a distance from the black oaken floor as to be wholly unaccessible from within. Windows of edifices permit people to see outside. However. Roderick has become so privy within his ain castle of the head that he is unable to see what is go oning outside. Even though. Rodericks disease of the head flourishes in the House of Usher. he would be unable to populate outside of it. as he has grown accustomed to the ailing lit and gloomy suites. Light being a symbol for life. the deficiency of it in Poes scenes creates a fateful sense of decease. Light is besides seen as a symbol for lucidity. or ground. therefore the dark suites are besides declarative of Rodericks irrational and deteriorating head. The storyteller indicates that even the faintest of light anguishs Rodericks eyes.
The symbolism in the palace in the The Masque of the Red Death is similar to that of the House of Usher. Prince Prosperos sign of the zodiac is divided into seven suites. with each irregular flat painted in a different chromaticity. The palace was a labyrinth with a crisp bend at every 20 or 30 paces. Each room had a stained glass window whose coloring material varied in conformity to the chromaticity of the room. These coloured Windowss filtered out visible radiation. which is symbolic of ground. distorting world. The different sunglassess of light create a fuzz of unusual images and happenings that are alone to Poes phantasmagoric scenes.
The thought of a premature entombment is a repeating one in Poes short narratives. besides present in The Black Cat. The Tell-tale Heart. The Cask of Amontillado. and The Premature Burial. After Madeline supposed decease. Roderick and the narrator bury her in a vault in the cellar of the sign of the zodiac. Madelines early burial is a premier illustration of architectural symbolism. If the house is to be compared to Rodericks head. so the cellar can be considered to be the subconscious and the upper degree the witting. When Roderick attempts to bury his sister. he is in fact seeking to bury her. or bury her into his subconscious.
However. she is still alive. and symbolically she resurfaces to the witting portion of Rodericks head by walking up the stepss. The bloodied Madeline falls on her twin brother. and they both die. Their coincident deceases represent the clang of the two parts of one consciousness. returning the twins to the integrity they possessed before birth. As the storyteller flees from the haunted castle of the head. the house splits at the point where there was a zig-zag crevice and sinks into the deep and clammy tarn. The prostration of the house parallels the devastation of both Rodericks head and the inevitable death of the curst Usher household.
Puting. in peculiar the architecture of edifices are subtly embedded in Poes short narratives. At first glimpse. they seem to simply make atmosphere. but when analyzed. are shown to be physically and psychologically symbolic. In fact. the usage of architectural symbolism is a repeating thought in Poes short narratives. In The Fall of the House of Usher. by giving inanimate objects a life-like quality. Poe creates a supernatural scene. doing the events that occur in the narrative more plausible. This. combined with many of Poes other alone facets of authorship. contributes to a authoritative Gothic narrative of panic.