The Fall of the House of Usher Short Summary
“The fall of the House of Usher” is a short tale composed by Edgar Allan Poe. It is a gothic fiction narration containing themes of isolation, family, madness, and some metaphysical manifestations.
An Overview of the Story
On a cold, gloomy morning, an anonymous narrator heads towards the house of usher. This estate belongs to Roderick Usher, his childhood friend, and it looks mysterious. The narrator notices how the house seems to be disintegrating but still considerably strong. Roderick had invited him to come and keep him company since he was both physically and emotionally ailing. The reader is then informed that only one member from the usher family has survived with every passing generation thus forming a direct line of ancestry without external branches.
The narrator discovers that the interior of the house is just as creepy as the outside. He also finds that Roderick is now paler than before. Roderick is suffering from a nervous disease and is scared of the house. His sister, Madeline, is also suffering from a serious bout of catalepsy. Over the next few days, the narrator attempts to cheer Roderick up, but his efforts prove futile. Roderick eventually posits that their house is unhealthy.
Soon afterward, Madeline succumbs, and Roderick deems it fit to bury her in the temporary tombs underneath the house. He does not want doctors to use her body to study her rare disease. With the help of the narrator, Roderick buries Madeline, and it is then that the narrator discovers the two are twins. One night, Roderick hysterically wakes up the narrator and leads him to the window. They observe a bright gas engulfing the house. However, the narrator comforts Roderick that the gas is a natural occurrence.
The narrator then tries to read a book to Roderick to pass the night. He decides to read a book called “Mad Trist.” While reading, he hears sounds that match the story’s description. At first, he ignores them, but they soon become too distinct to ignore. Roderick is now dozing off in his chair while muttering some words. The narrator listens carefully and discovers that Roderick thinks he buried his sister alive. Suddenly, the door is opened by the wind, and Madeline attacks Roderick. This scares Roderick to death. As the narrator escapes, the entire house crumbles down.