The Fall of the House of Usher [NOOK Book]

Overview

The tale opens with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help. Although Poe wrote this short story before the invention of modern psychological science, Roderick's symptoms can be described according to its terminology. They include hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and tastes), hypochondria (an excessive preoccupation or worry about ...
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The Fall of the House of Usher

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Overview

The tale opens with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help. Although Poe wrote this short story before the invention of modern psychological science, Roderick's symptoms can be described according to its terminology. They include hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and tastes), hypochondria (an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness), and acute anxiety. It is revealed that Roderick's twin sister, Madeline, is also ill and falls into cataleptic, death-like trances. The narrator is impressed with Roderick's paintings, and attempts to cheer him by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions on the guitar. Roderick sings "The Haunted Palace", then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be sentient, and that this sentience arises from the arrangement of the masonry and vegetation surrounding it.

Roderick later informs the narrator that his sister has died and insists that she be entombed for two weeks in a vault (family tomb) in the house before being permanently buried. The narrator helps Roderick put the body in the tomb, and he notes that Madeline has rosy cheeks, as some do after death. They inter her, but over the next week both Roderick and the narrator find themselves becoming increasingly agitated for no apparent reason. A storm begins. Roderick comes to the narrator's bedroom, which is situated directly above the vault, and throws open his window to the storm. He notices that the tarn surrounding the house seems to glow in the dark, as it glowed in Roderick Usher's paintings, although there is no lightning.

The narrator attempts to calm Roderick by reading aloud The Mad Trist, a novel involving a knight named Ethelred who breaks into a hermit's dwelling in an attempt to escape an approaching storm, only to find a palace of gold guarded by a dragon. He also finds hanging on the wall a shield of shining brass of which is written a legend: that the one who slays the dragon wins the shield. With a stroke of his mace, Ethelred kills the dragon, who dies with a piercing shriek, and proceeds to take the shield, which falls to the floor with an unnerving clatter.

As the narrator reads of the knight's forcible entry into the dwelling, cracking and ripping sounds are heard somewhere in the house. When the dragon is described as shrieking as it dies, a shriek is heard, again within the house. As he relates the shield falling from off the wall, a reverberation, metallic and hollow, can be heard. Roderick becomes increasingly hysterical, and eventually exclaims that these sounds are being made by his sister, who was in fact alive when she was entombed and that Roderick knew that she was alive. The bedroom door is then blown open to reveal Madeline standing there. She falls on her brother, and both land on the floor as corpses. The narrator then flees the house, and, as he does so, notices a flash of light causing him to look back upon the House of Usher, in time to watch it break in two, the fragments sinking into the tarn.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012788047
  • Publisher: Mundus Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/26/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 60 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2004

    Trembling with fear page turner

    This book was very amusing. A high quality of confusing vocabulary. Keeps you on the edge of your seat especially the ending! Overall this was a very scary story that will interest all fans of horror.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 18, 2011

    Interesting

    I had to read this for my American Literature class.Definitely spooked me!I really enjoyed it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2011

    Spooky

    Don't read inn the late evening,or night.difficult too understand some of the sentences that he wrote.good story line and a must for reading around halloween time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2001

    A Must Have for Horror Fans.

    Poe's horrifying tale will grip readers and leave them feeling uneasy, yet satisfied in experiencing his literary genius.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2000

    good book

    i thought this was a good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2014

    Main room

    A giant hall stretches, reaching a lit up room with a glowing floor and the statue of a dragon at the center. The dragon is a golden waterfountain, a pool of the most beautiful fish surround it. A shining, crystal chandelier hangs, candles that never burn out placed on it. The chandelier gives the water and gold a beautiful look. A table of ice that never melts circles the fountain. Glowing white plates lay on the table, gem designs etched into the surface. Silverware made out of real silver is placed by each lovely plate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    Edgar

    Edgar is very strange because he had a bad life. He loved his mother more than anything. She died, and Edgar was very dipressed. He put all his feelings in the stories he wrote. Then he got engaged, the wife died too. Edgar was so depressed. That is all I am going to say.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    The fallen house of usher

    Cool book of all time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

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    Posted January 20, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews

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