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

The Fall of the House of Usher book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does "The Fall of the House of Usher" relate to Poe's life?

Expert Answers info

Bridgett Sumner, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Hofstra University


calendarEducator since 2016

write1,749 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Edgar Allan Poe understood the social taboo against incest and the biological prohibition against inbreeding. These facts were likely a constant presence in his consciousness even as he fell in love with and married his very young first cousin, Virginia Clemm. "The Fall of the House of Usher" expresses Poe's intellectual recognition that inbreeding ultimately destroys the very families it seeks to preserve; this is acknowledged early in the story when the narrator observes that—

the stem of the Usher race, all time-honored as it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch; in other words, that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent

—as he contemplates the crumbling house of Usher, both in its literal and figurative sense.

Roderick Usher can be read as an alter-ego of Edgar Allan Poe. Both men are artists interested in painting, music, and literature, and both are uncomfortable and ultimately unsuccessful in venturing outside their families. Poe came to see Virginia...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 903 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,363 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,331 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Tina Bishop, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Southern Utah University


calendarEducator since 2011

write2,337 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


galla | Student

Thank You . This has helped a lot .