The Fall Of The House Of Usher

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Noble Persons and the Value of Unity

Noble persons and families should not be isolated because that makes them prone to downfall. Poe's short story 'The Fall of the House of Usher' describes a very famous family in the field of art. That is music, painting literature among others. Despite being so successful in the field of art, the family is so isolated from the rest of the world through its own supernatural barriers. The story explores a house that exists in its own reality, governed by its own rules and seems not to be interested in others. It is therefore not a surprise that in the end, the house of usher comes tumbling down. 'The Fall of the House of Usher' should, therefore, serve to assert the value of unity and togetherness regardless of one's social standing or class in the society (Müller & Nicole, 57). The House of Usher has fallen mainly due to isolation from the rest of the world.

The Miserable Atmosphere

The narrator feels miserable from the very moment he lands on the house of Usher, he tries to figure out why the feeling of misery has crept into no avail and finally concludes that there are inexplicably weird things in life. It can be argued that if the narrator is a regular visitor in the house of Usher, such feeling is not likely to be experienced because he could be used to the environment. The narrator has been invited into the house by his boyhood friend Roderick Usher who now lives in that house. Roderick wrote a letter to the narrator informing him that he was sick and thus needs his help (poe, 63). The narrator agreed and was, in fact, planning to spend a few weeks with Usher in the house. We can deduce that was it not for the illness, Usher could never have invited his boyhood friend into the house for a visit, chat or even coffee. Roderick Usher ought to have known the value of togetherness even in times of health.

The Inherited Isolation

The narrator reveals that Usher was excessively and habitually reserved even during their times of friendship in childhood. For this reason, the narrator did not have a chance to know much about Usher. The argument could, therefore, be that Roderick usher inherited the character of being reserved from his parents or relatives. The Ushers are portrayed as being nurtured and mentored in a way that they should rarely relate with the rest of the world.

The Loneliness in the Mansion

The house is described vividly by the narrator as having a dull and sluggish atmosphere both in the outside and inside. This is perhaps due to the loneliness that hovers in the mansion. The story clearly states that only two people inhabit the mansion. That is Roderick Usher and his sister. The deduction, therefore, is that Usher's family rarely welcomes visitors in their home. The family seems to be satisfied when confined within their premises only by themselves and barred from the rest of the world. Misfortunes like illness do not respect the reserved personality the Ushers have because it forces Roderick to seek help from a boyhood friend, the narrator.

Failing to Reach Out

When the narrator enters the room he meets Usher and they greet each other. The narrator is shocked at how much Usher has changed since they last saw each other. It is therefore arguable that it has been a long time since these two old friends set eyes on each other. The narrator says that Roderick has a pale skin, his eyes seem to glow and his hair seems to float above his head. Usher tells the narrator that he is that way due to a family illness he is suffering from. The argument is that Usher ought to be meeting with his friend regularly long before his illness. Such socialization could have given Usher a solution to his illness before it struck harder. His friend could have advised on time after seeing the symptoms.

The Worsening Isolation

The story says that Usher has not left his house in several years to an extent he feels that the family mansion has obtained an influence over his spirit. Usher thinks that his gloomy feeling is being caused by the family mansion. The fact that Usher does little to socialize with other people makes him a slave to his house. It is unfathomable how someone can spend years without moving outside the mansion and only highlights the height of isolation the Ushers are in. no man is an island and it is, for this reason, Usher feels gloomy and blames it on the family mansion. Usher has failed to appreciate that human beings are social beings. He should dedicate as much time as he can to reach other people, share ideas and be part of the larger society rather than spending years in the house.

The Importance of Inclusion

We are told that the only person alive in the life of Roderick usher is his sister Madeline. She has been his only companion for the last several years. Madeline has also been Usher's only living relative. It is only rational to sympathize with Usher because his sister Madeline is sick bearing in mind that she is the only companion Usher has. However, it is hard to understand why Usher could not get a companion outside the family circle (Timmerman & John, 152). The fact that Usher only has his sister in his life worsens the situation because he cannot imagine losing her. To add insult to the injury, the sister is seriously ill and on the verge of dying. The importance of inclusion in life is now evident for everyone. It can be argued that Usher's pain could be greatly reduced if they were more inclusive by eradicating all the barriers that prevent the family from reaching the outside world.

The Need for Unity and Togetherness

The narrator's only help to Usher is to try and do with him what he loves and is good at. They, therefore, paint, read, or play the guitar. The narrator confesses that Usher's artistic productions were awesome. The story underlines the importance of unity and togetherness even for those who are talented and noble in society. Talent alone is not enough and Roderick Usher is a living testimony for everyone to draw valuable lessons. If the artistic prowess that Usher possesses is the only thing that he needs to make him the most successful person, then he could not be so desperate, fearful, and having such a bad ending. Usher needs other people to celebrate his talents, give him more and better ideas, and also be a mentor to them. This is only possible through inclusivity and embracing others.

The Tragic Consequences of Isolation

The narrator is informed by Usher that Madeline is dead and that they should entomb her underneath the mansion to which the narrator agrees. We are told that Usher does not want the doctors to experiment on the cause of Madeleine's illness and that is why she is immediately entombed. Over the next few days, it dawns on Usher that they buried his sister alive. He breaks the news to the narrator and informs him that the sister is soon coming back. On a stormy night, the doors blow open, and a bloody Madeline with injuries all over her body stands at the door. She throws herself at Usher and they finally die together. Upon seeing this, the narrator flees to the outside and watches the house of Usher tumble down into the lake downhill. It is interesting that Usher is so reserved to the extent that he does not want the doctors to experiment on his sister. This reservation leads him to bury his sister alive. It could be argued that if the doctors were given a chance to experiment on Madeleine they could have discovered that she was not yet dead. This mistake costs Usher his life and consequently the fall of the house.

Emphasizing the Importance of Inclusion

In conclusion, the story clearly explains that The Fall of the House of Usher could have been avoided if the family was more accommodative and interacted with the outside world. By preventing even the doctors from examining a sick sister only highlights the level of isolation the Usher's family adopted in society.

Works cited

Müller, Nicole Borin. "The Knots in" The fall of the house of Usher": a psichoanalytic analysis of the characters." (2016).

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Fall of the House of Usher. Clap Publishing, LLC., 2018.

Timmerman, John H. "House of Mirrors: Edgar Allan Poe's ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’." Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Other Stories-New Edition (2014): 159-72.

August 21, 2023



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