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The Relationship Between Mind and Body

             “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe implies that the mind is a powerful source of memory and imagination that is stored and buried within the subconscious area of the mind, and that the body is somewhat related to these aspects. The memory is masked in the subconscious and is only awakened or brought forth by the conscious part of the mind, while the imagination can act as your own perception of reality to the eye or the waking mind. Poe suggests that you pull out the substance of your subconscious at your own peril. In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the “I” narrator conceals his memory of the deceased Madeline entombed in the house in his subconscious, and unknowingly brings it out into his conscious and consequently, brings back the body of Madeline. The climax occurs towards the end of the story when the “I” narrator begins reading the tale of the “Mad Trist” to Usher and strange coincidences in noises begin to occur. Every time the narrator reads a line in the story, in which an echo, shriek, or ringing sound was produced, this same noise which was described, would manifest itself in the house. However, the narrator “still retained sufficient presence of mind to avoid exciting, by any observation, the sensitive nervousness of my companion” (1147). The narrator proceeds three different times with the story, never acknowledging these noises or in broader terms, never acknowledging his own subconscious being released. However, Usher is not as blind as the narrator and exclaims, “Madman! I tell you that she now stands without the door!” (1147). The imaginative component of the narrator’s mind is now released as we discover that “without those doors there did stand the lofty and enshrouded figure of the lady Madeline of Usher” (1148). Usher is instantly killed by Madeline’s heavy fall upon him and the narrator leaves the “House of Usher” frightened of the influence and strength of his own mind.