The personification of the mansion implies a lot of things which is discussed in this paper along with the theme and character development in the story.
Edgar Allan Poe is considered as one of the unhappiest nineteenth-century American poets, who wrote great horror tales and detective stories. His works can be included in the gothic genre and dealt mainly with deaths, unknown diseases, and madness. The peculiarity of his themes arises from the mishaps in the life of Poe. He lost his parents at a very early age, his brother died when he was young and his only sister became insane later. “In his supernatural fiction, Poe usually dealt with paranoia rooted in personal psychology, physical or mental enfeeblement, obsessions, the damnation of death, feverish fantasies, the cosmos as a source of horror and inspiration…” (Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)). ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ is one of his best short stories, in which he narrates the story of an insane man, Roderick, who buries his twin sister alive out of mere superstition only to find her returning after a few days. Roderick dies out of terror as the sister dies and falls onto him. In this paper, the theme, character development, and symbolism in the story are going to be discussed.
The main theme in the story is the decline of an ancient incestuous family and the psychological effects it has on its members and probably the physical effect on the mansion. There are various interpretations of the theme in the story. The story narrates the theme of duality with the characterization of Roderick and his sister. It means that Roderick and Madeline, his sister are not two people, but one. The old mansion gets destroyed with the death of Roderick and his sister, giving a direct relation between the members of the family and the mansion. “An interpretation of the story is that the Usher House represents the main character’s psyche or personality. The fissures .of the house being the flaws in the personality and the fall of the house representing, the destruction of the body and mind that is separated.