The House on Usher

The quirky Angie Dee, a rookie real estate agent, has been sent to sell her first home. The property is a split level home on Usher Street. Unfortunately, the property was abandoned by its owners in the 1970s and the agent must find out why before a contract can be signed. Help Angie explore the house, solve puzzles, and clean up bugs and cobwebs to discover the mysterious secret about the property. Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, The House on Usher is a light-hearted hidden object adventure that will keep you giggling all the way to the climatic ending.

We also learn that one of Usher's paintings impresses the narrator immensely with its originality and its bizarre depiction: It is a picture of a luminous tunnel or vault with no visible outlet. Incest What binds Usher to Madeline, and what renders him terrified of her? Thus, the narrator is ushered into the house by a bizarre-looking servant, and he is then ushered into Roderick Usher's private apartment and into his private thoughts. Again Poe is using a highly effective gothic technique by using these deep, dark underground vaults, lighted only by torches, and by having a dead body carried downward to a great depth where everything is dank, dark, and damp. This otherworldly atmosphere enhances Poe's already grimly threatening atmosphere. As a result, every word, every image, and every description in the story is chosen with the central idea in mind of creating a sense of abject terror and fear within both the narrator and the reader. What seems to terrify Usher is fear itself. He investigated this phenomenon in several stories, including "William Wilson" a story which is analyzed in this volume , and so it is important to note that there is a special importance attached to the fact that Roderick Usher and the Lady Madeline are twins. This visual image is symbolic of what will happen later; it suggests both the vault that Usher will put his sister into and also the maelstrom that will finally destroy the House of Usher. They will now live in pure spirituality and everything that is material in the world is symbolized by the collapse of the House of Usher — the dematerialization of all that was earthly in exchange for the pure spirituality of Roderick Usher and the Lady Madeline. The mansion is located in a gloomy swamp. Outside the castle, a storm is raging and inside the castle, there are mysterious rooms where windows suddenly whisk open, blowing out candles; one hears creaking and moaning sounds and sees the living corpse of the Lady Madeline. Corman directed Price to deliver his lines this way as if to impress upon the audience not to take the movies too seriously. This crack, or division, between the living and the dead will be so critical that it will culminate ultimately in the Fall of the House of Usher. Finally, usher also means doorkeeper, and as they had previously ushered Lady Madeline prematurely into her tomb, at the end of the story Lady Madeline stands outside the door waiting to be ushered in; failing that, she ushers herself in and falls upon her brother.

This crack, or division, between the living and the dead will be so critical that it will culminate ultimately in the Fall of the House of Usher. Incest What binds Usher to Madeline, and what renders him terrified of her? Madeline is laid to rest in the family crypt beneath the house. If Usher embodies the incertitude of life — a condition somewhere between waking and sleeping — when Lady Madeline embraces him, this embrace would symbolize the union of a divided soul, indicating a final restoration and purification of that soul in a life to come. Filled with opulence and color, it is a tale of madness and obsession. His eyes, he says, are "tortured by even a faint light," and only a few sounds from certain stringed instruments are endurable. Roger Corman did, depending on which list you are looking at, 7, 8, or 9 movies loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe tales. From the time the unnamed narrator enters the House of Usher until the end of the story when he flees in terror, the entire story is boxed within the confines of the gloomy rooms on an oppressive autumn day where every object and sound is attenuated to the over-refined and over-developed sensitivities of Roderick Usher. Upon entering the gothic archway of the deteriorating mansion, the narrator is led "through many dark and intricate passages" filled with "sombre tapestries," "ebon blackness," and "armorial trophies. But did she ever die? Summary and Analysis "The Fall of the House of Usher" Summary The first five paragraphs of the story are devoted to creating a gothic mood — that is, the ancient decaying castle is eerie and moldy and the surrounding moat seems stagnant. Roderick opposes Philip's intentions. He tells Philip that the Usher family is afflicted by a cursed bloodline which has driven all their ancestors mad. In this interpretation, Roderick Usher buries his sister so as to protect himself. Late in the story, Roderick Usher says: "I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR.


AmitiГ© suisse The House on Usher pour faute inscription

The narrator then tells us that nevermore will Ushee see her alive. This would make Roderick and Philip adversaries for the affection of Madeline. Roderick believes that any future generation will also be cursed. In the concept of twins, there is also Build-a-lot: On Vacation reversal of roles. The Arts Despite or because of his madness, Usher is skilled at music and apparently is quite a painter. If he conjures up her specter, arisen from the grave to bring him to his own, why does he do so? He tells Philip that the Usher family is afflicted by a cursed bloodline which has driven all their ancestors mad. The House on Usher first the servant Bristol Harry Ellerbe refuses to let him in. She Usehr the masculine force which survives being buried alive and is able, by Usber almost supernatural strength, to force her way out and escape from her entombment in the vaults, and then despite being drained of strength, as evidenced by the blood on her shroud, she is able to find her brother and fall upon him. The relationship between Roderick and his sister shows a subtle undertone of incestual tension. When the narrator sees Roderick Usher, he is shocked at the change in his old friend. They will now live in pure spirituality and everything that is material in the world is symbolized by the collapse of the House of Usher — the dematerialization of all that was earthly in exchange for the Claws & Feathers spirituality of Roderick Usher and the Lady Madeline. Madeline was buried very much alive.

Roderick Usher and the narrator speak no more of the Lady Madeline; they pass the days reading together or painting, and yet Usher continues to be in a gloomy state of mind. They will now live in pure spirituality and everything that is material in the world is symbolized by the collapse of the House of Usher — the dematerialization of all that was earthly in exchange for the pure spirituality of Roderick Usher and the Lady Madeline. Furthermore, the ultimate Fall of the House is caused by an almost invisible crack in the structure, but a crack which the narrator notices; symbolically, this is a key image. In the concept of twins, there is also a reversal of roles. In fact, the greatness of this story lies more in the unity of design and the unity of atmosphere than it does in the plot itself. At least Usher considers the narrator to be his friend — in fact, his only friend — and he has written an urgent letter to him, imploring him to come to the Usher manor "post-haste. Then we read that on the night of the "seventh or eighth day" after the death of the Lady Madeline, the narrator begins to hear "certain low and indefinite sounds" which come from an undetermined source. This would account for his paleness and would fit this story in a category with the stories of Count Dracula that were so popular in Europe at the time. Filled with opulence and color, it is a tale of madness and obsession. And even though Poe said in his critical theories that he shunned symbolism, he was not above using it if such symbolism contributed to his effect. The Arts Despite or because of his madness, Usher is skilled at music and apparently is quite a painter. Often he stops and stares vacantly into space as though he is listening to some faint sound; his terrified condition brings terror to the narrator.

All the candles in the house are red. Second, Usher's painting is of "an immensely long and rectangular vault or tunnel," foreshadowing the third image of a tomb, the real one of Madeline's temporary burial. Usher tries to explain the nature of his illness; he suffers from a "morbid acuteness of the senses. When the narrator sees Roderick Usher, he is shocked at the change in his old friend. Poe next sets up a sense of the "double" or the ironic reversal when he has the narrator first see the House of Usher as it is reflected in the "black and lurid tarn" Hoouse dark and gruesome, revolting mountain lake which surrounds it.


From the opening paragraphs, ominous and foreboding as they are, to the presentation of the over-sensitive, hopelessly frail and delicate Roderick Usher, to the terrible conclusion with the appearance of the living corpse, all of Poe's details combine to create the anxiety accompanying that "grim phantasm, FEAR. The film of the actual burning of the house in the movie was used as stock footage in subsequent Corman-Poe movies. Upon entering the gothic archway of the deteriorating mansion, the narrator is led "through many dark and intricate passages" filled with "sombre tapestries," "ebon blackness," and "armorial trophies. In the concept of twins, there is also a reversal of roles. He investigated this phenomenon in several stories, including "William Wilson" a story which is analyzed in this volume , and so it is important to note that there is a special importance attached to the fact that Roderick Usher and the Lady Madeline are twins. Poe next sets up a sense of the "double" or the ironic reversal when he has the narrator first see the House of Usher as it is reflected in the "black and lurid tarn" a dark and gruesome, revolting mountain lake which surrounds it. Basically, however, the story still functions as a great story on the very basic level of the gothic horror story, in which the element of fear is evoked in its highest form. Thus, the narrator is ushered into the house by a bizarre-looking servant, and he is then ushered into Roderick Usher's private apartment and into his private thoughts. The relationship between Roderick and his sister shows a subtle undertone of incestual tension. While the relationship between him and Roderick is never fully explained, the reader does learn that they were boyhood friends. Either way, the line between life and death is a fine one in Poe's fiction, and Usher's study of the "sentience of all vegetable things" fits aptly with Poe's own preoccupations. In terms of what plot there is, it is set somewhere in the past, and we find out that the narrator and Roderick Usher have been friends and schoolmates previous to the story's beginning.

11 thoughts on “The House on Usher

  1. The Narrator describes the strange qualities of the Usher family--that it never has put forth "any enduring branch," that "the entire family lay in the direct line of descent. What seems to terrify Usher is fear itself. Immediately Poe entraps us; we have a sense of being confined within the boundaries of the House of Usher. As we will learn later, these sounds are coming from the buried Lady Madeline, and these are the sounds that Roderick Usher has been hearing for days.

  2. Even Usher seems uncertain, contradictory in his description: "It was, he said, a constitutional and a family evil, and one for which he despaired to find a remedy--a mere nervous affection, he immediately added, which would undoubtedly soon pass off. All the candles in the house are red. The burnt desolate landscape that represents the swamp that Philip rides through was actually the site of a fire in the Hollywood hills.

  3. Finally, usher also means doorkeeper, and as they had previously ushered Lady Madeline prematurely into her tomb, at the end of the story Lady Madeline stands outside the door waiting to be ushered in; failing that, she ushers herself in and falls upon her brother. This, then, is the gothic and these are its trappings; one should realize by now that these are all basic effects that can be found in any modern Alfred Hitchcock-type of horror film, any ghost movie, or in any of the many movies about Count Dracula. Roger Corman did, depending on which list you are looking at, 7, 8, or 9 movies loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe tales. Incest What binds Usher to Madeline, and what renders him terrified of her? He observes Usher, who seems to be rocking from side to side, filled with some unknown terror.

  4. But a more realistic version of events suggests that she may have been mistaken for dead--and luckily managed to escape her tomb. Roderick says it is her heart. It is Usher himself who seems to represent the weak, the over-sensitive, the over-delicate, and the feminine.

  5. Even Usher seems uncertain, contradictory in his description: "It was, he said, a constitutional and a family evil, and one for which he despaired to find a remedy--a mere nervous affection, he immediately added, which would undoubtedly soon pass off. The house, the barren landscape, the bleak walls, the rank sedges in the moat — all these create a "sickening of the heart — an unredeemed dreariness. Roger and a crew went there the day after the fire to film the opening sequence of the movie.

  6. Outside the castle, a storm is raging and inside the castle, there are mysterious rooms where windows suddenly whisk open, blowing out candles; one hears creaking and moaning sounds and sees the living corpse of the Lady Madeline. When Madeline tells her brother that she is leaving they get into a heated argument. Philip tells Roderick that he is engaged to Madeline. After some days of bitter grief, Usher changes appreciably; now he wanders feverishly and hurries from one chamber to another. She is, one might note, presented in this very image; at one point in the story, she seems to float through the apartment in a cataleptic state.

  7. It would seem that his art fails Roderick Usher. Friendship The Narrator arrives at the House of Usher in order to visit a friend. As Roderick Usher explains that he has not left the house in many years and that his only companion has been his beloved sister, the Lady Madeline, we are startled by Poe's unexpectedly introducing her ghostly form far in the distance. The final paragraph supports this view in that the actions occur during the "full blood-red moon," a time during which vampires are able to prey upon fresh victims. Late in the story, Roderick Usher says: "I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR.

  8. At the end of the story, the House of Usher will literally fall into this tarn and be swallowed up by it. In this interpretation, Roderick Usher buries his sister so as to protect himself. The narrator refuses, however, to allow Usher to gaze out into the storm with its weird electrical phenomena, exaggerated by their reflection in the "rank miasma of the tarn. It would seem that his art fails Roderick Usher.

  9. It is Usher himself who seems to represent the weak, the over-sensitive, the over-delicate, and the feminine. As we will learn later, these sounds are coming from the buried Lady Madeline, and these are the sounds that Roderick Usher has been hearing for days. The Arts Despite or because of his madness, Usher is skilled at music and apparently is quite a painter. After some days of bitter grief, Usher changes appreciably; now he wanders feverishly and hurries from one chamber to another.

  10. This otherworldly atmosphere enhances Poe's already grimly threatening atmosphere. All the candles in the house are red. Also central to this story is that fact that Roderick and the Lady Madeline are twins. Often he stops and stares vacantly into space as though he is listening to some faint sound; his terrified condition brings terror to the narrator. Very soon the narrator becomes aware of a distinct sound, "hollow, metallic and clangorous, yet apparently muffled.

  11. Late in the story, Roderick Usher says: "I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR. Poe is creating in this story his conception of a special affinity between a brother and his twin sister; it is almost as if Poe were "inventing" ESP, for this accounts for the fact that Roderick Usher has heard the buried Lady Madeline struggling with her coffin and her chains for over three days before the narrator hears her. When Madeline tells her brother that she is leaving they get into a heated argument.

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