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

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial