The Imagery in Edgar Allan Poes - “The Fall of the House of Usher” A Gothic Short Story between Gloom and Insanity TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction The uncanny in Gothic Literature Elements of American Gothic Literature The gothic elements in The Fall of the House of Usher The mansion and its gloomy atmosphere Fear and madness Incest and the double Allegories in the story Interpretative approach of the character of Madeline Usher Conclusion Bibliography 1. Introduction “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” (Edgar…
Assignment N°1 – 2016
A.- Consider TheFalloftheHouseofUsher, Barry’s BeginningTheory (chapter 2 – Structuralism) and answer the following questions:
1.- Refer to the concept of thematic unity in the short story and quote examples that illustrate the theoretical point.
2.- What assumptions can be made regarding time and characters in the opening paragraph? Quote three samples and analyse them.
3.- Refer to the pathetic fallacy used in the initial paragraph.
4.- Illustrate Barthes’ codes in this short story (hermeneutic, symbolic and cultural)
B.- Consider The Raven by Poe, the theoretical notes by Manfred Jahn Poetry ( especially P1 to P4) and the pdf attached which briefly introduces the concept of Intertextuality.
5.- Analyse the poem considering formalstructure and rhetorical devices. Work line by line underlining rhetorica and studying meter and rhyme very closely.
6.- Discuss thematicconcerns in the poem.
7.- What intertextual elements can be found in the poem? Provide 5 examples and analyse them.
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
It is an undeniable fact that it is indeed easy to study many of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories under the terms of structuralism. The well-known author, being considered to be the master of short-story construction itself, was responsible for even setting a set of rules for narrative composition (The Philosophy of Composition, 1846) which were based on certain patterns that needed to be followed in order to achieve a successful piece of writing.
To answer the question fully, it should be important to first mention Peter Barry’s terminology on Structuralism. The intellectual movement firmly believe that “things cannot be understood in isolation – they have to be seen in the context of the larger structures they are part of (hence the term “structuralism”)” (Barry.....[read full text]
All the same, in fourth and fifth paragraph, he has continued to use the same structure of description to set the tone of the atmosphere of the House of Usher. This time he has reinforced his ideas with architectural descriptions: “(…) about the whole mansion and domain there hung an atmosphere peculiar (…), an atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven, but which had reeked up from the decayed trees, and the gray wall, and the silent tarn – a pestilent and mystic vapour, dull, sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden-hued. (…) fungi overspread the whole exterior, (…) extraordinary dilapidation. (…) and the crumbling condition of the individual stones. (…) Gothic archway (…), while the carvings of the ceilings, the sombre tapestries of the walls, the ebon blackness of the floors, and the phantasmagoric armorial trophies which rattled (…).
I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow. An air of stern, deep, and irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all.”