Literature Creation Methods of Poe’s Gothic Tales
——Review of The Fall of the House of Usher
英81 高云君 2008012742
As one of the most famous works by Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher is the a masterpiece in American gothic literature. The prose is full with of elements and details which are unsettling and macabre. It was slightly revised in 1840 for the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Poe’s gothic novels have always been my readings before bed since I was younga child. In my childhood, following the unnamed narrator and walking towards that old and creepy house, I was immersed in the horrible storyline and experience the fantastic feeling of ...view middle of the document...
He accosted me with trepidation and passed on. The lady Madeline passed slowly through a remote portion of the apartment, and, without having noticed my presence, disappeared.
The exterior space and the internal space together make a real hellish place for you to imagine. Poe never saves any description and never tries to hide the horror. The moment you enter this story, you falls into the elaborate double space Poe has set for you. You feel afraid but your curiosity drives you to follow the narrator and find the secret in the old house and the old family.
Ⅱ. Arrangement of Pathological Character：Protagonist Roderick Usher
In Poe’s Gothic tales it’s so common to find pathological characters with different psychological problems. The alcoholics in Black Cat and abnormal young man in The Tell-Tale Heart are representatives. These protagonists’ common groundsimilarity is that they all have the abnormal mental health issues conditions and such psychological statements states gradually corrode their minds, which leading leads to the crime and self-destruction in real life.
The protagonist of the story is the most successful character. As one of the narrator’s boon companions in boyhood, Roderick Usher was born in the all time-honored Usher race. The entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain. This gives us a curiositymakes us curious about the family. The family is both traditional and unusual. Poe uses an old gothic element Family Curse, which also represent appears in the later description.
Roderick Usher changes has changed a lot after so many years. Poe describes his faces like this: A cadaverousness of complexion ; an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison ; lips somewhat thin and very pallid, but of a surpassingly beautiful curve ; a nose of a delicate Hebrew model, but with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar formations ; a finely moulded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence, of a want of moral energy; hair of a more than web-like softness and tenuity ; these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be forgotten. Usher also suffers from some unknown diseases and he is unstrung and over sensitive. Living in the dark for too long, his skin is deadly pale. Roderick Usher is just like Poe himself who suffers from an unnamed disease. Like the narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart, his disease causes his hyperactive senses. The illness manifests physically but is based in on Roderick’s mental or even moral state. Poe uses another gothic element: Pathological protagonist.
Roderick Usher’s hyperactive senses lead to his crazy action and his final death. He lies to his friends, the narrator, that his sister is dead. He states his intention of preserving her corpse for a fortnight, (previously to its final interment) in one of the numerous vaults within...