In "The Fall of the House of Usher", what is exactly meant by "sentience" and why is this idea important in the story?"The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe.
A sentient being is one with consciousness. It thinks and exists as its own entity. This is important because the house in this story is sentient; it understands the incestuous nature of its inhabitants and essentially commits suicide as a result. Only a sentient being can consciously destroy itself out of disgust.