What adjectives does the narrator use to describe the house of Usher? 

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price7781 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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It is really at the beginning of the story that Poe sets up the mood of the story through descriptions of the weather and what the narrator sees as he approaches the house.  

Descriptions of the weather include:

  • "a dull, dark and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens."

Descriptions of the house include:

  • The narrator, traveling alone,  comes upon a "dreary tract of land" where the house stands.
  • He describes the house as "melancholy", having "a sense of insufferable gloom", as "desolate or terrible"
  • The walls are "bleak"; the windows are like "vacant eyes"; the trees are "decayed"
  • "There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart" when the narrator approaches the house.  He was "unnerved" by the "mansion of gloom".

All of these adjectives set up the horror that will later come to the narrator in the house of Usher.  Poe does a wonderful job of foreshadowing the events to come with the establishment of descriptive adjectives that set the mood of the story.

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