The Fall of the House of Usher Essay

The narrator is a very altruistic character in “The Fall of the House of Usher”. He sincerely cares about Rodrick, even though his friend is slightly mentally insane, which creates a very complex relationship between the souls. Although the narrator initially intends to save Roderick from his own demise, he was forced to reject Rodrick as Mr. Usher was the source of his own torment. The narrator originally earnestly desires to go to Rodrick’s house.

In the text, the narrator talks of Rodrick as having “an earnest desire to see me, as his best, and indeed his only personal friend, with a view of attempting, by the cheerfulness of my society, some alleviation of his malady… ” (Poe 1).

The narrator uses the words “desire”, “cheerfulness”, and “friend” to describe how Rodrick contacts him. The word choice that the narrator uses can be grouped together as “happy” words, just like in a usual relationship.

The happiness proves that the narrator still believes that him and Rodrick are friends, even though he has not met Rodrick in years and that he wants to save Mr.

Usher from his own demise. However, Rodrick quickly forces the narrator to lose his aura of happiness. Rodrick unnerves the narrator throughout the text to the point where the narrator gave up on Rodrick, which is apparent through the use of disheartening words. In the text, the narrator describes Rodrick as having “A cadaverousness of complexion ; an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison… (Poe 2).

The usage of the word “cadaverousness” alludes to death, and the usage of “luminous” makes Mr. Usher seem mysterious. Mysteriousness and death are common words to portray someone beyond repair. By using this kind of wording, Poe is revealing the narrator is disgusted by the new Rodrick. The disgust leads the narrator to rejection. The narrator is rejecting of Rodrick. In the text, the narrator states “His action was alternately vivacious and sullen. His voice varied rapidly from a tremulous indecision… hich may be observed in the lost drunkard, or the irreclaimable eater of opium… ” (Poe 2).

Poe uses the words “tremulous”, “drunkard”, and “opium” to describe Rodrick. A synonym for “tremulous” is “quavering”, which is a word that describes a voice during a lie. “Opium” and “drunkard” are words related to addictive vices, which cause people to lie. Lying causes people to not trust the liar, which leads to rejection. The rejection allows the narrator to let his conscious remain free.

To keep his conscious alive, he has to rid himself of the dirtiness. The narrator must “ wipe his hands clean” of Rodrick to be able to continue living. The narrator realizes that Rodrick is the source of his own problems. In the text, it states “But, as I placed my hand upon his shoulder, there came a strong shudder over his whole person ; a sickly smile quivered about his lips ; and I saw that he spoke in a low, hurried, and gibbering murmur, as if unconscious of my presence.

Bending closely over him, I at length drank in the hideous import of his words… ” (Poe 6). The diction used has much hurt and anguish. The hurt exists because the narrator notices that his friend is doomed. The narrator also uses the words “shudder”, “hideous”, and “sickly” to describe how Rodrick acts. The word choice that the narrator uses emphasizes that Rodrick is doomed. The pain of seeing his best friend in this situation would force any reasonable man, such as the narrator, to “wipe his hands clean”.

The narrator originally intends to save Rodrick, but once he sees what state Rodrick is in, he realizes all hope is lost. He is sincerely pleased to see Rodrick when the letter first comes and believes that their relationship will be like it once was, until he met Rodrick in person. He cares about Rodrick, but realizes that Mr. Usher is doomed. He is disgusted by the “new” Rodrick and rejects him. He understands he must “wipe his hands clean”. The narrator has a very intricate relationship with his old friend Rodrick Usher.

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