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The Fall Of The House Of Usher

The Fall Of The House Of Usher is a short story that was written in 1839 by Edgar Allan Poe. It was the first thing he published and today remains one of the most inspirational tragedies and gothic short stories. The story follows an unnamed narrator as he arrives at his friend’s house, having received a letter from his friend that he was ill and was in desperate need of assistance. But upon arrival, the narrator sees that there is a crack from the roof to the lake, running the length of the building.

This short story was written long before the invention of psychological sciences and so the condition of the friend is described with current terminology. The illness of the friend is what today would be described as hyper-sensitivity or sensory overload, mixed with hypochondria and acute anxiety. It is later revealed in the short story that the sister of the friend is also ill from the same symptoms, but soon goes cataleptic. Impressed with the paintings done by his friend, the narrator attempts to cheer him up by reading to him and listening to him play guitar.

The friend explains that he believes the house to be alive, haunted. He informs the narrator that his sister is dead and she must be entombed for two weeks before she can be buried, inside of the family tomb. The narrator assists his friend putting the body into the tomb but notes that her cheeks are rosy. Soon, the two become agitated and a storm begins. The storm seems to be surrounding the house in an odd light.

Soon, as the narrator is reading a tale of a brave knight fighting a dragon, his friend exclaims that the sounds must be coming from his sister who was alive when she was placed in the tomb. The friend lets the narrator know that he knew she was alive when they placed her in the tomb. At once the door to the bedroom is blown open to reveal the sister, standing alone. She falls onto her brother and both of their bodies land on the floor dear. The narrator flees the scene but upon doing so notices that there is a flash of moonlight, which prompts him to turn back just in time to see the house split into two and begin to sink into the lake.

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