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Terror and Mystery - The Fall of the House of Usher

            "The Fall of the House of Usher," " a short story published in 1939, is one of the most popular fictional narratives of Edgar Allan Poe. The tale centers on the feelings of the narrator upon visiting the house of one of his boyhood companions, and the anonymous and mystified nerve of its proprietor, Roderick Usher. This mythic tale, and Poe's other terror short stories alike, aims at arousing readers' sense of inner disgust or terror, as Poe himself stated in his preface to "Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque"" (1840) that the terror he meant to create was "not of the Germany, but of the soul." Poe successfully developed a mysterious atmosphere by using such literary crafts as diction, foreshadowing and so forth, and evoked readers' terror by providing few details over the narration. The literary crafts used in "The Fall of the House of Usher"" and their effects, materializing the terror and the mystery, are what this paper is going to examine subsequently.
             The tale was set in "a dull, dark and soundless day in the autumn of the year,"" while "the clouds hung oppressively low in the heaven." The narrative unfolded as the narrator headed for the "melancholy house of Usher. Poe's intention of bringing readers to an oppressive, mythic, mysterious atmosphere in the introduction is manifested by his word choice; the following description on the house as well declares the dismal tone. The house, surrounded only by "a few white trunks of decayed trees " and "a black and lurid tarn, " with "bleak walls.vacant eye-like windows.a few rank sedges, was mere and isolated. Upon seeing these "sternest natural images of the desolate and the terrible," what was aroused to the narrator "as he mentioned several times in simply one paragraph "was "a sense of insufferable gloom. "The setting is essentially traditional Gothic: a desolate scene and an isolated castle, and along with the oppressive diction they animate and intensify readers' curiosity and terror simultaneously.

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