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Plot in The Fall of the House of Usher

Plot Examples in The Fall of the House of Usher:

The Fall of the House of Usher

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"the fragments of the “HOUSE OF USHER.”..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

The analogy of house as both home and lineage—a clever double entendre—is made once again explicit in the final sentence. Because the mansion, as well as both Usher siblings, have been destroyed in the collapse, “the fragments of the ‘HOUSE OF USHER’” refer to the remains of the building as well as Madeline and Roderick.

"the breaking of the hermit's door, and the death-cry of the dragon, and the clangour of the shield!—say, rather, the rending of her coffin, and the grating of the iron hinges of her prison, and her struggles within the coppered archway of the vault!..."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

In her return from death, Madeline turns out to be the character engaging in the hero myth intimated in the “Mad Trist,” albeit in a warped manner. Each stage of Ethelred’s journey is refigured as a stage in Madeline’s undead escape from the tomb. Each correspondence has been marked, as the narrator chillingly describes, by an ongoing confluence between fictive and real soundscapes: cracks, shrieks, and clangs! In an intriguing inversion of the hero myth, the figure who is usually the prize—the cave-trapped maiden—is flipped into the hero, whose journey is an autonomous self-liberation from the bonds of death and entombment.

"Once a fair and stately palace—      Radiant palace—reared its head...."   (The Fall of the House of Usher)

The poem “The Haunted Palace” is a centered around a conceit of the palace as a human head, as introduced in these lines. Subsequent stanzas fill out the details of the palatial head: the roof’s golden banners as the hair; the two great windows as the eyes; the door set with pearl and ruby as the mouth, teeth, and tongue. The monarch within is “Thought” himself. As the poem comes to an end, the joyful inhabitants of the palace are replaced by evil, sorrowful ones. This story can be seen as a parable of diminishing mental health, which is apt considering the despairing denizens of the Usher mansion.

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