How is "The Fall of the House of Usher" an example of Romanticism?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Taken by itself, the term Romanticism is not generally thought of in conjunction with horror. Nevertheless, even without reference to more specialized trends such as those we label Gothic and Dark Romantic, the generic concept of Romanticism encompassed qualities in evidence prior to Poe that he can be seen to have used and developed further, in his unique way.

Elements of mystery and a fairytale atmosphere are present in the poetry of Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats and in the prose works of German writers such as Tieck and Hoffmann. But these aren't fairytales for children. The House of Usher is a crumbling structure showing its age and its descent from a dark past:

I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled luster by the dwelling, and gazed down—but with a shudder even more thrilling than before—upon the remodelled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.

There is a joining of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1199 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team