The Fall of the House of Usher- Essay

Extracts from this essay...

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.

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.

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

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

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers
  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.