UXT Task 1 (0917)
Work: The Fall of The House of Usher by E.A. Poe
A. Initial Thoughts
I think the story is very sad. Usher invites the narrator to come to visit and the narrator recounts how they were friends as children but had not been in close contact for many years, however, Usher regards him as his only outside friend. The narrator feels obligated to indulge the request based upon this, the narrator has a tone of empathy and sorrow for Usher. Throughout the story, the narrator remains the bridge to the outside world as the House of Usher and the Usher family are isolated. The isolation seems to be a chosen or expected path for the family as it references in the story, that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain. It was this deficiency, I considered while running over in thought the perfect keeping of the character of the premises with the accredited character of the people, and while speculating upon the possible influence which the one, in the long lapse of centuries, might have exercised upon the other it was this deficiency, perhaps, of collateral issue, and the consequent undeviating transmission, from sire to son, of the patrimony with the name In this passage the narrator seems to question if the genetics of the family contributed to their ailments. The narrator called Usher a hypochondriac several times throughout the story indicating that his illness was more of a mental illness with a secondary physical component causing his health to fail. The house symbolized the family throughout the story, it offers foreshadowing with the fissure that is noted by the narrator upon arriving to the mansion, it is faint and hardly noticeable however at the end of the story it separates as the house falls. The description of the house and its dilapidation and correlation to its disrepair and the ultimate failing health of Usher and his sister paints a very vivid picture of the gloom and sadness of the family.
A2. Aspects of Interest
I think that The Fall of the House of Usher looks intimately at mental illness and its effects on families. The narrator discusses how the family is peculiar in the sense it seems as though he is implying that they potentially have a history of mental health issues. Usher seems to have been stifled as an individual based on his dependence on his twin sister. He seems to be failing in health based upon her failing health and how he is struggling to cope with it. It also brings to light that she may not be real and just a manifestation of his mental illness relating to his fears and anxiety, it is quite unclear during the story. The narrator seems to see her as well, but he also seems to be entranced by the entire presentation of the house and the madness displayed by Usher.
The narrator also discusses the interest in the arts that Usher has, there are multiple literary works referenced...