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In Edgar Allen Poes short stories: The Black Cat and The Fall of The House of Usher the idea of insanity is accompanied by death or decay in some way.

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Baginski, Parmar Adam Baginski, Baljyot Parmar C. Toubassi ENG3UH Dec. 12. 2011 Comparison of Death by Insanity within Edgar Allen Poe?s Short Stories Insanity is able to create horror and decay in one?s life. In Edgar Allen Poe?s short stories: ?The Black Cat? and ?The Fall of The House of Usher? the idea of insanity is accompanied by death or decay in some way. The decay of the unnamed narrator in the ?Black Cat? into insanity allows the reader to understand his murderous actions. Similarly, in ?The Fall of The House of Usher? the use of words such as melancholy and decay establish the idea of death through insanity. Ultimately, in both stories, the use of symbolism and diction is fundamental in establishing the theme of death through the insanity of the characters. To begin with, the use of symbols is crucial in creating the ideas of insanity and death within the two texts. ...read more.


sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium ? the bitter lapse into common life ? the hideous dropping off of the veil? (Poe, 231). One can see from the narrator?s description of the house that it represents the decay of life and the end of the Usher name. As one learns of Roderick?s troubles with his epileptic sister, the cracks in the house seems to make a lot of sense. The cracks symbolize the inevitable death of the house and of their lineage. ??a few white trunks of decayed trees?? the sense of decay and death are foreshadowed by this description of the house, which ultimately establishes the theme of death and decay/insanity. Both these stories use symbolism represent and explain to the reader, the insanity and ultimately the death of the selected characters. Both stories rely on the insanity or decay of the characters to explain their respective deaths. ...read more.


Similarly, when Poe describes Pluto?s attitude after the narrator removes its eye, he uses words such as ?frightful,? ?suffer,? ?grieved.? (Poe, ) This choice of vocabulary invokes the reader to understand the pain Pluto is suffering, as well as outlining the insanity the narrator has. However, in the ?The Black Cat? the narrator is reflecting on his own actions as opposed to in ?The Fall of the House of Usher,? where the narrator is reflecting upon the general standing of the setting. To conclude, the use of symbolism and diction is fundamental in establishing the theme of death through the insanity of the characters, as is present in Poe?s writing. Symbols such as alcohol and decay, and diction such as ?dark? and ?melancholy? are prevalent in both ?The Black Cat? and ?The Fall of the House of Usher.? Although they are used in different contexts, the main ideas are still underlined and emphasized through these two figurative language elements. The deaths in both the stories have great influences on the narrators, which is aided with insanity to create horror and decay in one?s life. ...read more.

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