The Fall of the House of Usher Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

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Discuss the ending of "The Fall of the House of Usher." What does it imply?

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From the opening of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” to its ending, there is no question that the physical structure, the titular “house,” and its surroundings is a metaphor for the humans who inhabit it, Roderick and Madeline Usher.

Poe’s story is narrated by an old friend of Roderick’s whom had long fallen out of touch. Many years have passed since their last encounter. The narrator is a vehicle for the author to relate the details of the story, and it is in the narrator’s observations that the role of the house, both as a physical structure and as a reference to a lineage, is described.

As “The Fall of the House of Usher” begins, the narrator is arriving at the Usher home, and his description of the house and its surroundings is entirely bleak, providing the story that follows a sense of foreboding. Note, in the following passages from the story’s opening, the narrator’s observations:

... the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it...

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