Monday, January 7, 2008

The Fall of the House of Usher

Follow this link to the full text of the story.

**If the link does not work, simply google "the fall ofthe house of usher full text" and there will be many sites from which to choose.

Questions are as follows...
Thinking About the Selection
8. How is the physical appearance of the interior of the House of USher related to the condition of Usher's mind?
9. What details early in the story foreshadow the ending?
10. Critics have argued that Madeline and Roderick are not only twins but are phsyical and mental components of the same being? What evidence is there to support this theory?
11. What is the significance of the fact that rather than helping Usher, the narrator finds himself becoming infected by Usher's condition?
12. Explain the two meanings of the story's title.
13. In what way is the ending of the story ambiguous?
14. Poe's story may suggest that the human imagination is capable of producing false perceptions of reality. Do you agree with this suggestion? Why or why not?

Analyzing Literature
Poe asserted that a story should be constructed to achieve a single effect - in this story that effect is terror.
How do each of the events contribute to the growing sense of terror in this story?
1. the description of the house
2. the description of Usher's painting
3. the entombment of Madeline
4. storms and other natural phenomena