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In "The Fall of the House of Usher," what does the narrator discover about the brother...

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oliviax3 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted January 25, 2011 at 8:45 AM via web

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In "The Fall of the House of Usher," what does the narrator discover about the brother and sister after viewing Madeline in her coffin?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM (Answer #1)

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[Please note:  you are not permitted to ask multiple questions. You are only allowed one question, so I have edited your original question to focus on the first question that you asked. Please remember this in future.]

Apart from a glimpse of Madeline that the narrator catches on his first night in the House of Usher, which is enough to fill him with doom, dread and perturbation, he only really gets to "meet" her when she is lying, supposedly dead, upon the tressels in the crypt, which rather disturbingly lies beneath the room of the narrator. So this is the first time that the narrator is able to see her face and have a chance to consider her appearance. It is then that Roderick shares the information that you are after. Consider what the text tells us:

A striking similitude between the brother and sister now first arrested my attention; and Usher, now divining, perhaps, my thoughts, murmured out some few words from which I learned that the deceased and himself had been twins, and that sympathies of a scarcely intelligible nature had always existed between them.

This special relationship between the twins perhaps explains the need for them to be reunited in death at the end of the tale, and the way that Roderick is able to discern that it is his sister who is coming and making the terrible noise that he perceives.

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