What does the narrator do after the death of both Madeline and Roderick?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"From that chamber, and from that mansion, I fled aghast," the narrator declares after the harrowing scene of the enshrouded Madeline Usher, whose white cerements are blood-stained, displaying the evidence of a struggle fought within her coffin. Having succumbed to catalepsy and believed dead, she has been buried, but revives and makes her escape from the casements that enclose her. Frightened by the sight of her emaciated body that sways upon the opening through the panels of the room where he and Roderick sit, the narrator's terror is intensified as the living corpse of Madeline sways back and forth, and with a terrible trembling and a "moaning cry," she falls forward violently upon her brother, In their duel death struggles and agonies, they both crash to the floor. Thus, Roderick becomes a victim of that which he has so feared and anticipated when he tells the narrator that he hears his sister, whom he has put into a premature coffin.

As the narrator flees, the atmosphere of horror is furthered by the dark sympathy of the surroundings. For, seeing a brilliant gleam in the night, the narrator turns to view a moon that is "blood-red" and the fissure from the roof of the Usher mansion to the base widening while the "mighty walls" mimic the panels of the house through which Madeline has brought death to Roderick as they "rush asunder," destroying the "House of Usher." 

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

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