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House of Usher

            "Foreshadowing in one of Poe's Great Tales".
             Imagine hearing a song or reading a story that suddenly becomes your life and what is going on around you. This happens to one man in "The Fall of the House of Usher." As the story opens, the narrator is traveling to his friend Roderick Usher's home in response to a letter from Roderick. The letter sounded dire and important; therefore he could not deny him the visit (Poe 234). As the narrator arrives at the house, he is confronted with eerie surroundings. Days later, Roderick sings him a ballad about a palace that seems like the very house where they reside. Then, near the end of his visit, he reads a tale of a hero that is closely followed by the strangest coincidence of all. In his work "The Fall of the House of Usher," Edgar Allan Poe makes great use of parallels and foreshadowing to contribute to the overall horror of the story.
             On the first day of the narrator's visit, he notices many strange similarities between the house and the people who resided within. The area around the house is dark and desolate. Dying hedges and decaying trees are strewn about the landscape. Also, the house lies next to a gloomy, dark tarn. The house itself is much like the landscape. A fungus covers it and it seems "excessively antique" (Poe 236). It contains a fissure that ran from roof to foundation, splitting the house in two. On the interior, it is dark and gloomy and some of the ceiling is out of sight, due to the shadows. The furniture is old and seems uncomfortable. When the narrator meets Roderick and his sister, he finds them to be much like the house. Roderick and his sister have a split personality, much like how the house has a fissure separating the house in half. He also looks very gloomy and gray. His hair is like cobwebs atop his head (237). His sister, Madeline, is more physically ill with a severe case of catatonia. When she is in a trance, she can look and act like she is dead for a number of days.

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