By the utter simplicity, by the nakedness of his designs, he arrested and overawed attention. He chose every word in every sentence carefully to create a gloomy mood. A manuscript copy of the music was found among Weber's papers upon his death in 1826 and the work was mistakenly attributed to him. Although Poe wrote this short story before the invention of modern psychological science, Roderick's condition can be described according to its terminology. Let us close this casement;--the air is chilling and dangerous to your frame. For example, the narrator realizes late in the game that Roderick and Madeline are twins, and this realization occurs as the two men prepare to entomb Madeline. Fear of a long, poisoned direct ancestry that haunts the living descendants each day, and the unhealthy mental mind of a product of that lineage, is what figuratively ended the House of Usher, not evil.
The narrator is gradually drawn into Roderick's belief after being brought forth to witness the horrors and hauntings of the House of Usher. He roamed from chamber to chamber with hurried, unequal, and objectless step. She falls on her brother, and both land on the floor as corpses. From a position fronting my own, he had gradually brought round his chair, so as to sit with his face to the door of the chamber; and thus I could but partially perceive his features, although I saw that his lips trembled as if he were murmuring inaudibly. The most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odors of all flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds, and these from stringed instruments, which did not inspire him with horror. Anxiety Over Madeline Roderick believes that much of his anxiety comes from watching the decline in health of his sister, Madeline, who goes into catatonic or unconscious states.
An excited and highly distempered ideality threw a sulphureous lustre over all. The narrator also notes that Roderick seems afraid of his own house. An air of stern, deep, and irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all. In the first paragraph of the story the narrator explains his surroundings before entering the house. Poe refers to his late wife's eventual death when he mentions Roderick's complexion as the mockery of a faint blush, and gives a sense of foreboding to the story as it leads to the end when Madeline's return from the grave is found as an unexplained mystery.
Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks. He notes that although the house is decaying in places—individual stones are disintegrating, for example—the structure itself is fairly solid. It was, however, the only book immediately at hand; and I indulged a vague hope that the excitement which now agitated the hypochondriac, might find relief for the history of mental disorder is full of similar anomalies even in the extremeness of the folly which I should read. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. The pallor of his countenance had assumed, if possible, a more ghastly hue--but the luminousness of his eye had utterly gone out. From going to the store, to buying the right ingredients, and to cooking the noodles just right, everything must be precise. Suddenly the house, already aflame due to fallen coals from the fire, begins to collapse, and Winthrop flees as Roderick is killed by Madeline and both she and the Ushers' sole servant are consumed by the falling house.
The narrator approaches Roderick and listens to what he is saying. The first and possibly most important step to making the lasagna is going to the grocery store and purchasing all the best quality ingredients. The narrator believes she is dead but remarks that her face still has a faint blush and a lingering smile. Poe instead describes dark barren landscapes and inclement weather to set the mood. And now the increase in this strangeness of his face had caused so great a change that I almost did not know him. Never seraph spread a pinion Over fabric half so fair. A careful reading of the story will show the similarities between the building itself and the family that live therein.
Roderick becomes increasingly hysterical, and eventually exclaims that these sounds are being made by his sister, who was in fact alive when she was entombed. When burring Madeline, the narrator and Roderick notice her rosy cheeks and a faint smile that they push away as a sign of her death, but this could also show a sign of slight liveliness in her. The valet now threw open a door and ushered me into the presence of his master. I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow. Autumn is chosen because it is a time when the leaves of trees begin to wither away. Poe asks the reader to question Roderick's decision in contacting the unnamed narrator in his time of need as well as the unnamed narrator's response.
While the objects around me--while the carvings of the ceilings, the sombre tapestries of the walls, the ebon blackness of the floors, and the phantasmagoric armorial trophies which rattled as I strode, were but matters to which, or to such as which, I had been accustomed from my infancy--while I hesitated not to acknowledge how familiar was all this--I still wondered to find how unfamiliar were the fancies which ordinary images were stirring up. Poe creates a sense of claustrophobia as the unnamed narrator is caught by the lure of Roderick and cannot escape unless the house collapses. In the opening paragraphs we are introduced to the scenery by a nameless narrator. He buried himself in his creepy house, abandoning himself in grief. The door, of massive iron, had been also similarly protected. Thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost.
I endeavored to believe that much, if not all of what I felt, was due to the bewildering influence of the gloomy furniture of the roomof the dark and tattered draperies, which, tortured into motion by the breath of a rising tempest, swayed fitfully to and fro upon the walls, and rustled uneasily about the decorations of the bed. Among other things, I hold painfully in mind a certain singular perversion and amplification of the wild air of the last waltz of Von Weber. Poe creates a sensation of claustrophobia in this story. It displayed itself in a host of unnatural sensations. Her decease, he said, with a bitterness which I can never forget, would leave him him the hopeless and the frail the last of the ancient race of the Ushers. She had been in the grip of a cataleptic seizure which made it impossible for her to resist the burial.
He was enchained by certain superstitious impressions in regard to the dwelling which he tenanted, and whence, for many years, he had never ventured forth--in regard to an influence whose supposititious force was conveyed in terms too shadowy here to be re-stated--an influence which some peculiarities in the mere form and substance of his family mansion, had, by dint of long sufferance, he said, obtained over his spirit-an effect which the physique of the gray walls and turrets, and of the dim tarn into which they all looked down, had, at length, brought about upon the morale of his existence. Roderick tells his friend that Madeline, his sister, is also sick. As Roderick reveals, the Usher family has a history of evil and cruelty so great that he and Madeline pledged in their youth never to have children and to allow their family to die with them. To an anomalous species of terror I found him a bounden slave. A glance, however, at his countenance, convinced me of his perfect sincerity. Have I not heard her footstep on the stair? Poe's writing not only is an perfect example of Dark Romanticism, it is also an entrance into the thoughts of Edgar Allan Poe himself.
If he has become infected by these things, then the truth of his story should be questioned: his mental condition is not stable, and so he likely cannot accurately relate events. Over the next few days, Roderick becomes even more uneasy. Oxford University Press, 2001; pg. That explains why she still had a blush to her face. The Gothic era was a dark and dreary time in American Literature and Poe, being a part of it it expresses it through his work. Indeed, the Ushers seem to be ingrown into the house itself — everything from its cracked foundation to gloomy aspect reflects the state of the family that lives there.