The Fall of the House of Usher

the house of usher is a gothic short story.. Discuss??

i want a discuss to the Gothic of the house of usher

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

This is a bit detailed but it is through,

The gothic imagery that fills "Usher" reflects a style of literature that had emerged during the late eighteenth century and was flourishing in the early decades of the nineteenth. The large mysterious castle filled with dark corners and secret passageways had been an important feature of gothic literature at least since Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto (1765). Poe explicitly aligns "Usher" with such literature. Upon dismounting from his horse, the story's narrator enters "the Gothic archway of the hall" (p. 146). Once inside a valet leads him through "many dark and intricate passages" (p. 146). Having his narrator enter the mansion through a gothic archway, Poe identifies this short story as a piece of gothic fiction. Furthermore, he establishes a parallel between the narrator's experience and his reader's. Much as the narrator enters the gothic by entering the home, the reader enters the gothic by reading the story. Establishing such a parallel between reader and narrator, Poe incorporates a doppelgänger theme, another motif characteristic of gothic fiction. Poe's "William Wilson" (1839) is the classic story of a double or doppelgänger in the English language, but "Usher" also makes sophisticated use of this motif. Not only does Poe establish a parallel between narrator and reader, he also parallels the narrator and Roderick Usher, Roderick and his sister Madeline, and Roderick and the house itself.

Poe is the last great gothic writer, but his attitude toward the gothic often seems ambiguous. At times, he incorporates gothic elements only to spoof them. "The Raven" (1845), though a great example of the literary gothic, is not without satiric moments. Of course, the use of humor in gothic fiction was not unprecedented. As Benjamin Fisher has observed, humor had frequently been an element of the gothic before Poe's time. "Usher," however, treats the gothic with profound seriousness. Reading the story, one gets the impression that Poe set out to write the gothic tale to end all gothic tales.

In terms of the relationship of "Usher" to the American literature of its day, Poe's tale differs considerably. The middle third of the nineteenth century was a time of great literary jingoism. Numerous critics clamored for a national literature commensurate with the greatness of the nation and urged American writers to incorporate its mountains and rivers and plains into their work. Poe considered such jingoism, or extreme nationalism, hogwash. The way to make great national literature was not to make it represent the physical and political character of the nation: the way to make great American literature was to make it original. In so doing, it could stand on a world stage. Consequently, Poe seldom felt compelled to use American settings for his fiction. Instead, he frequently set his tales in the dark corners of Europe. "Usher" is no exception. The vault beneath the mansion dates back to "remote feudal times" and thus suggests an indeterminate European setting (p. 150).