In "The Fall of the House of Usher," Poe builds a mood of gloom and foreboding in his Gothic tale. The narrator declares,
During the whole of a dull, ark, and soundless day ...when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone,...through a singularly dreary tract of country; and...found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher....but, with the first glimpse...a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit.
After reflecting upon the history of his friend, the narrator looks up at the House of Usher and feels a "superstition" which continues after he enters the mansion. where he feels that he breathes
an atmosphere of sorrow. An air of stern, deep, and irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all.
Through this story, the narrator absorbs "the depression of soul" that the decaying trees and crumbling building generate. When he encounters his old school friend, Roderick Usher, the narrator is astonished by the appearance of the man. His "sickening of the heart" continues to pervade him as he becomes increasingly concerned with the friend's mental state, reflected in the "ghastly pallor" of the man. And, although the narrator makes great efforts to alleviate the melancholy of Roderick, only one unceasing radiation of gloom" prevails.
However, as the narrator attends Roderick in his painting, he experiences "intolerable awe" at his work. But, a "nervousness" comes upon the narrator, "irrepressible tremors" pervade his heart, and he experiences "an intense sentiment of horror, unaccountable yet unendurable." In his efforts to calm Roderick, the narrator reads to him from the "Mad Trist," but he hears a scream and a grating sound which unnerves and oppresses him. As Madeline stands "lofty and enshrouded" at the door, she falls and makes him the victim of the very terrors he has anticipated. The narrator, too, is terrorized.
In the "mansion of gloom,"