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The Fall of the House of Usher

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1 The Fall of the House of Usher
Edgar Allan Poe

2 Journal Have you ever gone into a place that made you uneasy?
Have you ever gotten back in touch with someone you hadn’t heard from in a long time and discovered your friend had changed? Have you ever been so conflicted that you questioned your sanity?

3 Discussion Dracula, Psycho, Jurassic Park Stephen King, Anne Rice
What do these movies/authors do to make you feel uneasy feeling?

4 Gothic Novels Haunting atmosphere Working of the human mind
Burials, tortures, hypnotism, resurrection of corpses Working of the human mind Romantic sensibility Feelings = most essential human characteristic Peaks of emotion and imagination

5 Edgar Allan Poe Never felt accepted Influenced by King and Bradbury
Gothic details to enhance the story Rotting mansion Mysterious illness Sounds at night Being buried alive Build the mood

6 Video Clip

7 Post reading

8 Discussion What words and phrases in the description convey a strong sense of sickness and death? (p. 265) What are some of the words in this description of the interior of the house that enhance the atmosphere of gloom and dread? (p. 267) What parallels can you see between this description of Usher and Poe’s description of the house? (p. 267) What kind of a laugh is unaccompanied by a smile? (p. 271) What can you infer from the statement, “Such opinions need no comment”? (p. 271) How has Roderick’s behavior affected the narrator? (p. 274) What details heighten the atmosphere of the narrator’s nighttime fears? (p. 275) Poe uses the storm to create a mood. How would you describe this mood? What specific words and phrases produce it? (p. 275) What happens in the climactic scene? (p. 278)

9 Assignments Questions p. 280 #1, 2, 3, 5 Activities
Movie poster: Create a movie poster for a film version of “The Fall of the House of Usher” that captures the atmosphere of the work. The poster should include the title and a thrilling caption. Radio script: Adapt “The Fall of the House of Usher” to a fifteen-minute radio presentation. Write a script and include directions for sound effects and background music that support the story’s mood.

10 Art, Music, and Literature
Divide the class into groups. Tell each group to locate examples (5 minimum) of their art form that the narrator might have used to successfully calm Usher’s nerves. Group 1: art Group 2: music Group 3: literature

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