How does imagination overcome reason in "The Fall of the House of Usher" and create fear?

Expert Answers

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

There have already been a couple answers commenting on the interplay between imagination and reason in “The Fall of the House of Usher” within the narrator, who is also the point of view character. Poe’s short story also plays upon the imaginations of the reader.

“The Fall of the House of Usher” seems to be a parable, or an allegory. What the allegory is for, is open to debate. But the way Poe designs this story to take root in the imagination rather than the logical realist world is by inching the story toward a supernatural zone early. Take, for example, the story’s first appearance of Madeline Usher—the enigmatic twin sister of Roderick. The first time Poe introduces Madeline, she immediately comes across as a spectral phenomenon:

While he spoke, the lady Madeline (for so was she called) passed slowly through a remote portion of the apartment, and, without having noticed my presence, disappeared. I regarded her with an utter astonishment not unmingled with dread--and yet I...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 961 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
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 4, 2019
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team