Imagery in The Fall of the House of Usher

Imagery Examples in The Fall of the House of Usher:

The Fall of the House of Usher 4

"the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my sight..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

The noun “satellite” as used here refers to a small celestial body which orbits a larger one. Here the satellite in question is the moon. The image of the moon, crimson, low, and winking through the mansion’s fissure from behind, explodes. It is the image that bursts, not the moon itself. The source of the bursting is likely the powder hoard in the mansion’s basement, pointed to earlier in the story. Thus, as the mansion is sundered in a flaming explosion from its foundation, the fissure widens and the red moon in the center of the scene participates in the widening conflagration, at least from an imaginal perspective.

"bore..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

In a chilling, twisted image, the language in this passage figures Madeline’s death as a birth. The word “bore” suggests the bearing of an infant, such that her deathly collapse to the floor is a kind of delivery. On a thematic level, this metaphorical birth may signal that there is something redemptive in the fall of the House of Usher, as if it were a necessary fate for such a plagued family.

"enshrouded the mansion...."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

The verb “enshrouded” metaphorically figures the clouds as a shroud—or funeral pall—over the house. The image thus presages the house’s death. The image also draws on Madeline’s corpse, which, too, is wrapped in a shroud. As a result there is a subtle analogy created between Madeline and the house, a connection that has so far been more explicitly drawn between Roderick and the house.

"he so cracked, and ripped, and tore all asunder,..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

The words in this passage employ the auditory and visual senses, creating an image of a drunken, mad hero tearing down a door. Ethelred’s drunken fury, and the imagery the story conveys, parallels the violence of the storm as it batters the House of Usher.