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            By telling the story of a perfectly sane man driven mad by his own fear and sense of terror, Poe establishes a very important point that one's fear is determined by one's reaction to a situation. In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Fall of the House of Usher," the narrator starts out as a sane person, but, after living with his mentally disturbed and depressed childhood friend, Roderick Usher, the narrator begins to go mad and finally loses his mind to his own personal fears. After being with Roderick for a short time, the narrator learns many details about Roderick's personal life, including his fascination with death and the supernatural and his close relationship with his dying sister, Madeline. After Madeline's death, the narrator begins to lose his mind in the same way as Roderick, and his fears are visually manifested when he sees an image of Madeline still alive even after she is locked in a temporary tomb. First of all, one can see that the narrator is, for the most part, sane at the beginning of the story. When he first sees the decaying and crumbling House of Usher, he begins to feel ".an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart -- an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime" (Poe 1). While these feelings strike fear in his heart, the narrator is able to reassure himself that ".there are certain combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us" (Poe 1). He thinks about how ".a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression." (Poe 1). Also, when Roderick throws open the shutters to the narrator's room and shows him the strange glow surrounding the house, the narrator tries to explain it logically by reassuring Roderick that "These appearances, which bewilder you, are merely elect!.

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