I need to write an essay comparing Roderick and the house from The Fall of the House of Usher.In what ways are Roderick Usher and his ancestral home similar?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It seems to me that Roderick and his home both start the story looking very bad -- unwell and falling apart.  At the end of the story, both Roderick and the house are gone -- Roderick is dead and the house has collapsed into the lake.

At the beginning of the story, Roderick looks really ill.  His friend, the narrator, remarks on how cadaverous and unwell he looks.  The house, too, looked in bad shape to the narrator as he approached it.  The whole of it was not falling apart yet, but each bit looked to be in bad shape.

At the end of the story, Roderick dies and the house falls into the tarn.  The two of them seem to have decayed and "died" together.

tsakers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a number of comparisons you can examine, both literal and figurative. First, examine the parallels between Poe's physical description of the House and Roderick---their state of "decay," etc. Make certain to discuss the crack in the wall of the house and the figurative "crack" in Roderick's sanity. Additionally, examine the external and internal of both. In other words, on the exterior, both the House and Roderick appear to be "crumbling" and essentially vacant, while internally, both are experiencing a great deal of activity.

Read the study guide:
The Fall of the House of Usher

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question