The Fall of the House of Usher

The Fall of the House of Usher College

“To an anomalous species of terror, I found him a bounden slave. "I shall perish," said he, "I must perish in this deplorable folly. Thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost. I dread the events of the future, not in themselves, but in their results. […] I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect--in terror. In this unnerved—in this pitiable condition--I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR" (Poe 131). This quote from Edgar Allan Poe’s “ The Fall of the House of Usher” comes from the words of Roderick Usher telling the narrator and the reader that he is not afraid of death or pain; he is afraid of fear. This element of fear and the terror of one losing his or her mind is a reoccurring theme within this short story both shown through Roderick and the unnamed narrator. Also, Poe uses “The Fall of the House of Usher” to undermine through the narrator’s development the many ways we maintain our sanity in real life (Obuchowski 407).

Fear is an important motif in this short story, which begins with the narrator’s description of his dread when the narrator first arrives at the House of Usher. We see...

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