Presentation on theme: "“The Fall of the House of Usher”"— Presentation transcript:
1“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
2After reading ¶1 on p. 123, summarize what the narrator already knows about Roderick Usher and his family estate.The family is very oldThe family is very reserved, artistic and charitable.The family isn’t very big – only a direct line of descent (inheritance)The mansion and the family are identified as one in the name “House of Usher”
3How does the description of the room contribute to the mystery of the story? The large, high ceilinged room seems dark, suggesting claustrophobiaThe light is “encrimsoned” or reddened, suggesting blood or deathThe narrator describes the atmosphere as stern and gloomy
4In your own words, sum up Usher’s view of his situation. He suffers from overly sensitive sensesHe is afraid of being taken over by fearHe thinks that fear will kill him
5What is so startling about the narrator’s first glimpse of Madeline Usher? She looks just like Roderick.He’s overcome with stupor and he notices that Roderick goes pale and cries.
6What does Usher’s painting suggest to you? The flood of light in the closed, apparently underground room suggests Roderick’s desire to overcome the oppressive atmosphere of the mansion.It might also suggest his desire to banish something sinister about either the house, or Madeline, or both.
7How might the poem parallel Roderick Usher’s situation? The poem begins with a prince who is happy and a palace that is bright, musical, and beautiful. However, evil corrupts the happy palace and leaves it full of sinister beings.The “red-litten windows” echo the “encrimsoned light” in the Usher mansion and suggest that the Usher family was once happy but now is oppressed by sinister forces.
8What is strange about Madeline’s face as she lies in the coffin? She and Roderick look unnervingly alikeShe has some color in her faceShe has a slight smile on her face
9What do you infer about the changes in Usher’s behavior? His voice trembles and he wanders constantly, suggesting agitationHe seems like he has a secret he wants to tell, and he looks sometimes like he’s listening closely to somethingThis suggests that he is very afraid and knows something he should tell the narrator
10Which of the narrator’s experiences in the Usher mansion might have led to what he “endeavored to believe”?He is increasingly fearful and tries to believe that it’s just because of the dark, gloomy atmosphere of the house.However, the burial of Madeline probably unnerved him, too.
11What is the storm like and what is gathering around the house in the storm? The storm seems like a whirlwind (vortex!) with wind going in all directionsThere’s also a mist or fog gathering around the house that actually glows unnaturally.
12Describe the mood of the story after the narrator thinks he hears “the very cracking and ripping sound …” from his reading.This creates a frightening and suspenseful mood, as well as mysterious as the reader tries to figure out where the noises are coming from.
13What effect do the passages from the “Mad Trist” have on the events of the story? They add to the suspense as the sounds the narrator hears are not only predicted by the story, but slowed in pace by the intervening passages from the story.
14What do you predict will happen after the narrator reads about the shield falling to the floor? He will hear a crashing sound.
15On the basis of what Usher is saying on this page, what do you expect to happen next? He says, “I tell you that she now stands without the door”This suggests that Madeline is about to enter, having broken out of her coffin.
16What happens to Roderick and Madeline Usher? She comes in, covered in blood from her struggle to escape her coffin, and falls on him.He falls with her and dies of fear.
17What happens to the Usher house? The crack noticed by the narrator at the beginning of the story rips wide open and the house collapses into the tarn (pond).
18Narrator Character’s thoughts p. 122 “what was it that so unnerved me” Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterCharacter’s thoughtsp. 122 “what was it that so unnerved me”Rational/logicalCharacter’s wordsp. 122 feels he must go to RUKind, sympathetic
19Narrator Other character’s thoughts p. 122 Roderick asks him to visit Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterOther character’s thoughtsp. 122 Roderick asks him to visitTrustworthyCharacter’s actionsp. 130 doesn’t question Madeline’s burialpassiveCharacter’s own wordsp. 122 Describes Roderickobservant
20Roderick Usher Other characters’ words/own actions Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterOther characters’ words/own actionsp. 122 “passionate devotion to … musical science”; his painting; plays music; poetryartisticCharacter’s own wordsp. 125 “nervous affection” “morbid acuteness of the senses” “fatal demon of fear” p. 123 “web-work” fungi p. 124 “weblike” hairSensitive, controlled by vampire house
21Roderick Usher (cont) Character’s own words Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterCharacter’s own wordsp. 126 “tenderly beloved sister” “bitterness” about her illnessLoving, values familyOther characters’ wordsp. 122 “his reserve had been … excessive”reserved
22Roderick Usher (cont) Character’s own actions Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterCharacter’s own actionsp. 134 “I heard her first feeble movements …yet… I dared not speak”Passive, possibly cruel
23Madeline Usher Other characters’ words Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterOther characters’ wordsp. 126 “Hitherto she had steadily borne up”Tenaciousp. 135 “Is she not hurrying to upbraid me for my haste?”VengefulOther characters’ actions/wordsp. 134 “we have put her living into the tomb”Possibly vampiric
24Madeline Usher Character’s own action Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterCharacter’s own actionp. 126 “sole companion for long years”LoyalNarrator’s commentsP. 126 “disease…. Had long baffled… physicians”mysterious
25The House of Usher Other characters’ thoughts/narrator’s comment Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterOther characters’ thoughts/narrator’s commentp. 122 “utter depression of soul” when looking at house; “vacant eye like windows”Oppressive/ lifelikeother characters’ thoughts/narrator’s commentp. 129 order of stones, fungi (similar to R’s hair p. 124), reflection in tarn, vapor around housesentient
26The House of Usher Other characters’ thoughts Method of CharacterizationExample or Quote (with page number)What it shows about characterOther characters’ thoughtsp. 123 fungi in “webwork”; p. 124 R’s “web-like” hair; loss of life force; Madeline rises from dead (sort of)Vampiricp. 123 “barely perceptible fissure”; p. 135 collapsesUnstable/ run-down
35Morbid melancholy; insanity Roderick’s guilt and fear drive him insaneCould interpret Roderick and Madeline as two parts of a personality – Roderick is repressing all his physical desires, leaving himself out of balance and dangerously unstable.Mansion might also be sapping the energy from Roderick and Madeline like a vampire.
36The Supernatural Madeline seems to rise from the dead House has oppressive and possibly vampiric personality (sentient)House falls apart when Ushers die as if only their life force keeps it together
38MysticismRoderick possibly understands what is happening to Madeline when Roderick doesn’t – her being victimized by the house and possibly turned into a vampire.This might explain her burial in crypt with copper floor and iron doors.
39Rural Life and the Common Man Mansion seems to be in a rural areaNOT common people