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What figurative language is used in ''The Fall Of the House of Usher''?

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highschoolsucks1 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 16, 2011 at 12:32 AM via web

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What figurative language is used in ''The Fall Of the House of Usher''?

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

Posted June 16, 2011 at 8:17 PM (Answer #1)

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You might like to look at the ending for an excellent example of figurative langauge that Poe employs to help convey the horror and terrror in this excellent story. Let us remember that figurative language takes the form of comparing one thing to something else, either through use of a simile, a metaphor, or personification. As the narrator flees the house and turns back, note how a simile is used to describe the sound of the House of Usher as it, like its owners, meets its end:

...there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters--and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the "House of Usher."

Note how the supernatural end of the mansion is stressed through the comparison of the sound it makes in its final moments to the "voice of a thousand waters." Hopefully this example will help you go back and spot and analyse other examples of figurative language in this excellent short story. What, for example, is suggested by the windows of the house being described as "eye-like" as the narrator first looks upon the House of Usher?

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