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How do we relate this story with American gothic? 

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aliaazahar | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted May 1, 2012 at 12:04 PM via web

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How do we relate this story with American gothic? 

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 1, 2012 at 3:28 PM (Answer #1)

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Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher" fall during the Romantic period of literature, but certainly is an early representative of American gothic style. 

American gothic literature includes a variety of stylistic features, designed to make the story as horrifying as possible.  "The Fall of the House of Usher," as an early predecessor, incorporates many of these stylistic elements, including setting, the supernatural, diction to create atmosphere of suspense.  The setting in the story takes place in the old home of the narrator's friend Roderick.  Poe uses personification to add a sense of creepiness to the house, describing the windows as "eye-like."  Poe heightens the suspense in the story through his use of the supernatural.  Rodderick, suffering from a slow descent into madness, becomes paranoid that his twin sister Madeline's ghost haunts the house.  Madeline's ghost is another supernatural element, combined with the terrifying portrayal of Roderick's insanity. 


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