Reflections of the Fall of the House of Usher
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In the beginning I thought this story would be very difficult for me, so I read the Chinese translation version first. Actually at that time I couldn’t understand it and the impression that it left with me was vague. I still dwelled on the end part of the story and I found this kind of fiction is much to my appetite, so I read the original edition of it. Now I would like to write down my reflections of this story in three aspects. Firstly, I find the symbolism is adopted in this fiction. The title is the fall of the House of Usher. I think the fall not only refer to the house’s collapse, but also the fall of the Usher family. The house also refers to both the house and the family. Besides, the bridge over the tarn symbolizes “I” who is the narrator in this fiction. It also means the bridge like the narrator is the only connection for Usher family to outside world. The ghastly images inside is a hint of the madness of Roderick and Madeline.
Secondly, the description of atmosphere in the fall of the House of Usher is very carefully. Many words are repeated in the description like ghastly, fancy, agitation etc. I think these descriptions and repetitions emphasis the Gothic horror. They help readers to draw a picture of the house in their mind — typical Gothic architecture, ghastly gallery… When I read these description, I connected them with supernatural power. It is plausible that Roderick’s sickness is a result of the atmosphere surrounding the house of Usher. The ending part leaves us suspense. Thirdly, I want to talk about my two understandings of this fiction. First one is maybe some supernatural evil power has haunted Usher family for generations. They can’t get rid of this fortunate.
My second understanding is all these things are illusion of the narrator. I think every literal work is related to the author’s life experience or living statues. This work is a reflection of the dark side in Poe’s heart. Poe wants to tell us misfortune originated from the deep fear in heart. Roderick and Madeline have no courage to go out of the house for a fetishistic reason. If they go to the outside world, maybe their destiny would be different. Maybe this understanding seems a little ridiculous. Besides, the fiction ends when the plot just reaches the climax and that’s why it leaves us suspense. Lastly, I still can’t figure out the reason why Roderick has a sense of fear of Madeline. Is she really buried alive or she is not dead after all?