illustration of a dark, menacing cracked house with large, red eyes looking through the windows

The Fall of the House of Usher

by Edgar Allan Poe

Start Free Trial

Is "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe a satirical parody?

The Fall of the House of Usher is a work of gothic horror and not a parody. It explores insanity, decay and the downfall of the aristocratic class through its main character Roderick Usher and his family. URL: http://www.enotes.

Expert Answers

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

Poe wrote “The Fall of the House of Usher” as an exploration of Gothic elements more than as a satirical parody.  Like most Gothic pieces, the story has a dark mood, and dark content.  It focuses on madness and decay.  Though not exactly satire, the story is a commentary on the Victorian class system, whose downfall is represented in the House of Usher.  Some of Poe’s other stories, such as “The Cask of Amontillado,” are somewhat more humorous.  “A Tell-tale Heart” is like “Usher” in that it is also a tale of madness.  It can be interpreted as satirical observation, but does not reach the level of parody.  Other American authors such as Mark Twain focused more on satire in their stories of American class issues and culture.  I encourage you to explore some of enotes critical reviews of this story, since you are looking for critical analysis.  I have provided some below.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team