illustration of a dark, menacing cracked house with large, red eyes looking through the windows

The Fall of the House of Usher

by Edgar Allan Poe

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What are the climax, falling action, and resolution of "The Fall of the House of Usher"?

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The climax of "The Fall of the House of Usher " could be said to occur when Roderick tells the narrator "We have put her living in the tomb!" just before Madeline reappears. In the days leading up to this crisis, Roderick's instability has mounted and Madeline's health has declined to the state of her becoming moribund, and the narrator has just become unnerved by mysterious and ominous sounds coming from outside the chamber where he and Roderick are reading together.

The falling action could be said to occur as the narrator describes Roderick falling to the floor dead in his sister's fatal embrace and his own flight from the House of Usher. As he is fleeing from the horrific scene he glances back and sees the blood red moon clearly through the wide-open fissure dividing the house as it collapses.

The brief conclusion of the story is the narrator's description of the waters of the tarn closing atop the splintered remains of the house and its inhabitants.

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I think that the climax is the night of the eight day, when they start to hear noises and when Madeline bursts into the room where he and Roderick are. The falling action is the ensuing struggle and when both Roderick and Madeline are dead. The resolution is when the narrator runs out of the house, and he then sees the house crumble.

However because of the way this story is structured, you could adjust it somewhat.

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What is the falling action of "The Fall of the House of Usher"?

Falling action concludes and ties up a story after the climax has been reached. It is a point at which tension is released.

There is not much falling action in this Poe story, as the climax comes very near the end. In this climax, the bloody Madeline emerges from having clawed her way out of the crypt, and she and Roderick both die.

The falling action comes as the narrator flees the house. The house begins to fissure and collapse. The falling action is actually the house falling into the tarn, where, as the narrator watches, the:

deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the "House of Usher."

The house of Usher in the last words of the story refers both the physical house itself and the house—or bloodline—of the Usher family, which died off for good when Roderick and his twin sister perished.

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Describe the events of the climax of "The Fall of the House of Usher."

The climax of a story is the moment of highest tension.  It is the moment that the reader's stomach is in knots in this story! 

The climax of the story occurs when Madeline emerges from her tomb and the narrator and her brother Roderick see her.  She then falls into Roderick, who subsequently collapses and dies himself.  The narrator is terrified as the house begins to crumble. He is able to escape and watch the house fall to the ground.  

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