The Fall of the House of Usher

'The Fall of the House of Usher’ is a famous Edgar Allan Poe's short story. It was initially published in 1839 and since then it has captivated millions. The story is said to be literary classic and a pioneering work in Gothic storytelling. The story represents the incorporation of ‘totality’ in writing in which each and every detail constitutes a part of the bigger picture.

The story focuses on Roderick Usher who lives in a house with his sister and complains that the house that he lives in is alive. Usher writes to his friend to come and help him as he thinks that he has an illness. The friend, who is the narrator of the story, arrives and finds that both Roderick and his sister are suffering from conditions which include hypersensitivity to light, sounds, and textures; and anxiety. The sister, Madeline also suffers from seizure episodes which have been described as death-like trances. The narrator observes the house and finds intricately detailed paintings and musical compositions. After a few conversations, Roderick reveals to the narrator that he thinks that the house is alive and this feeling arises due to the way vegetation surrounds the house. During the narrator’s stay, Roderick tells him that Madeline has died and Roderick would like to put her body in the family’s tomb before she is buried permanently. The narrator helps Roderick put the body in the tomb, however strange events follow Madeline’s death. The narrator and Roderick observe that the lake surround the house glows in the dark as it was represented in the paintings. Both the narrator and Roderick start to feel increasingly agitated. There are creaking sounds across the house and sounds of shrieks. Upon these events, Roderick reveals that his sister was alive when was entombed and these noises are being made by her. Soon after this revelation, the door of the room opens revealing Madeline standing there. She falls on her brother and both of them hit the floor as dead bodies. The narrator flees immediately and while running away from the house he looks back to find that the house had split into two and the fragments of the house were falling into the lake.

This short story has been admired as one of the most primary psychological horror stories. The admiration is mostly due to the fact that this genre had not been discovered yet, and this story holds the pioneering status. The short story still lives in print and visual media due to its several adaptations.

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