• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Fall of the House of Usher- Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Fall of the House of Usher- Essay Discuss how Poe creates an effective atmosphere in the opening extract of the story "The Fall of the House of Usher," written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1839, is regarded as an early and supreme example of the Gothic horror story, though Poe ascribed the term "arabesque" to this and other similar works, a term that he felt best described its flowery, ornate prose. In place of a moral, Poe creates a mood-terror, in this case- through his use of language and imagery, which is especially evident in this opening extract. ...read more.

Middle

The personification and description through layers of images of the house immediately stirs up in the narrator "a sense of insufferable gloom," and it is described as having "bleak walls," "vacant eye-like windows," and "ghastly tree stems". This diction is extremely descriptive, with an abundance of negative connotations, and evocations of ominous gloom that 'seeps' into the narrator's, and reader's consciousness. This atmosphere initiates a sense of foreboding and depression, even before anything concrete has physically occurred, thus suggesting that the tone of melancholy and gloom is merely inherent in the narrator's mind. This reveals an element of his characterisation, a sense of ambiguity and of a capacity for acute analysis. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, "That half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment". This shows a confused diction, which may convey an already confused state of mind in the narrator. A sense of pace is induced from the very first line, with the alliteration of the cold, hard 'd' sounds: "during the dull, dark, and soundless day". This suggests a tone of bitterness from the narrator and reinforces the sense of foreboding in the reader. The same effect is achieved through the use of sibilance when describing the scene before him: "There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart" Therefore, through the use of complex figurative language, layers of imagery and characterisation, Poe creates an atmosphere of foreboding and gloominess, and a psychologically intense situation in the opening of the story, setting the scene for later events. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Edgar Allan Poe section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Edgar Allan Poe essays

  1. Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher".

    of a brother, sister, family name, and house. All this desired effect puts the reader into shock, but also brings out a good side. Life after death was the underlying meaning to this story. Death usually means the end, but in a spiritual sense the soul is brought back to a state of comfort and pleasantness.

  2. Edgar Allan Poe 'Tell Tale Heart' and 'the fall of the house of Usher

    resembled that of a vulture - a pale blue eye with a film over it.' Poe uses a metaphor to compare the eye to that of a vulture, a scavenger which feeds off the dead remains of animals. This introduces the idea of death, and coldness and makes one apprehensive of the eye.

  1. "The Fall of the House of Usher" - A Critical Analysis

    Overall, Madeline Usher appears to be completely overcome by mental disorder. Roderick Usher, the head of the house, is an educated man. He comes from a rather wealthy family and owns a huge library. He had once been an attractive man and "the character of his face had been at all times remarkable" (Poe, 667).

  2. By comparing‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ with ‘Hop Frog’ discuss the ways in which the writersportray ...

    Poe describes him as a 'monkey' and a 'squirrel' and suggest that Hop Frog is begging for food 'crumbs from the royal table'. The result this is that Hop Frog is shown to be like a begging animal which serves to ease the King's conscience at mocking Hop Frog, if

  1. Poe's intention when writing "The Fall of the House of Usher" was not to ...

    Madeline was his connection in the human "realm". He knew that his love would eventually kill her, and it did.

  2. How Far Does 'The Fall of The House of Usher' Meet With The Conventions ...

    We are also told that there are no other branches of the Usher family. The story starts with the narrator approaching the house alone through the bleak setting. The reader is aware of his vulnerability and starts to feel concerned about what lies ahead.

  1. Edgar Allan Poe 'Tell Tale Heart' and 'the fall of the house of Usher

    when the murderer hears the heart beat of the old man whom he thought was dead. 'Louder! Louder! Louder! Louder! Louder!' accelerates the pace and the short pauses mirror the thumps of the old man's heart creating an unearthly atmosphere.

  2. Roderick Usher- a Gothicprotagonist?

    the steam of the Usher race, all time-honoured as it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch; in other words that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent..." One of the main issues of the story is the incestuous relationships which had taken

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work