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How might "The Fall of the House of Usher" be read as a an allegory of a journey into...

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hrussell2010 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 5, 2009 at 6:32 AM via web

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How might "The Fall of the House of Usher" be read as a an allegory of a journey into the human mind?

What could the final fall of the house represent? Poe said that the poem "the haunted palace" is meant to suggest a distorted brain.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 5, 2009 at 7:03 AM (Answer #1)

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The house of Usher, both in terms of the Usher family and the house it self were confused by the passersby as "one and the same". This was because, as you read, the story shows that the family had a history of disease, death, entrapment, insanity.  This is a compilation of the scariest demons that humans have to deal with from time to time. In Usher's case, Roderick and his family were all representatives of such demons, of such imperfections. The house decayed as Roderik decayed, and both the house and the owner were going downhill. Finally, when the narrator escapes, the house implodes on its own. Similarly with Roderick and humans dealing with their inner torments, they are also bound to implode and destroy themselves. (And those around them can help, just as much as they don't fall right with them)

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