First published in the September, 1839 edition of Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, "The Fall of the House of Usher" is widely acknowledged to be one of Poe's finest and most representative tales. The story begins with the first-person narrator riding on horseback toward the ancestral home of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher. In the opening paragraph, the narrator establishes an overwhelming atmosphere of dread. As he approaches his destination on a "dull, dark, and soundless" day, he notes that the clouds were hanging "oppressively low" in the sky over the "singularly dreary...
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