Evaluate the psychological state of Roderick Usher. How does Poe develop his fears and nightmares? How does his psychological state relate to the physical features of the House of Usher. Use a minimum of three examples.
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Poe lets the fear creep up on us in this story. From the narrator's early arrival at the house there is a decided sense of rot and decay,
"Upon the remodelled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows. Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks..."
The narrator seems like a rational level headed sort of guy but, upon meeting his friend Roderick, begins to mimic his friend's neurosis,
"Rationally Usher's condition terrified, it infected me... I felt creeping upon me, by slow yet uncertain degrees, the wild influence of his own fantastic yet impressive superstitions."
The fear is further compounded by the ghastly business of entombing and burying Madeline. After that nightmare Poe has the reader pondering the sanity of the narrator himself. Throw in a storm, lightening and zombie Madeline and you have a first class Poe horror!