What does Roderick Usher fear?

In "The Fall of the House of Usher," Roderick Usher fears that his house is having a negative effect on his spirit and contributing to his mysterious illness. Roderick also fears for his sister, Madeline, who similarly suffers from an unusual ailment.

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When the narrator first arrives at the Usher house, he finds Roderick in a dreadful condition, with an unknown illness having "terribly altered" the young man, reducing him to a shadow of his former self. Roderick explains that the disease is hereditary and that he worries that the fear it...

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When the narrator first arrives at the Usher house, he finds Roderick in a dreadful condition, with an unknown illness having "terribly altered" the young man, reducing him to a shadow of his former self. Roderick explains that the disease is hereditary and that he worries that the fear it causes is going to cost him his sanity. He also confesses that he is afraid of the house and its perpetual state of gloom. Additionally, Roderick is afraid of his sister's imminent death, as she has an illness that doctors have not been able to diagnose.

Later in the story, after the supposed death of Madeline, Roderick begins to fear that he has buried his sister alive. While a storm rages outside, he admits that for many days he has been hearing her "feeble movements" from within the tomb:

I heard them—many, many days ago—yet I dared not—I dared not speak!

This fear proves valid when Madeline comes back from the grave and falls on top of him, killing them both in the process.

It is evident from the narrator's account that the entire atmosphere of the house is one of fear. This fear has entered Roderick's mind, increasing the severity of his paranoia.

The unnatural storm which rages on the night of Roderick's death leads to the destruction of the house, which seems to prove that Roderick's fears were justified at some level.

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