Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Fall of the House of Usher": Live Blogging

Participate thoughtfully and frequently on the outer circle by posting your questions and comments here. Try to bring in passages from the text when possible, and when responding to someone, address him/her by name.

Remember to uphold our class's standards of professionalism.

Enjoy!

122 comments:

macm said...

Well, I thought that I'd start out with some questions:

What were some connections you made between the house of Usher and the man Roderick Usher?

Did you draw any symbolic connections to the story from the poem written by Usher?

How does this story relate to the life of Edgar Allan Poe?

alexf said...

Ok, so after reading the entire story, I’m still really confused about the quote at the beginning of the short story. What was the significance of it and how did it contribute to the overall story?

hannahl said...

How does the guest affect or not affect the outcome of the story?

Ryad said...

Mac- I did draw lots of symbolic connections to the story and the poem. I thought it could be taken two different ways. First of all it could be taken like the house could be a persons mind and the windows could be the eyes and the breaking down and grimyness of the house could be like the breaking down of their mind because of a sad or horrible event. Or it could have actually been about the physical house of Usher.

morgant said...

So, we kind of talked about this yesterday, but I found it relevant.

"...a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the deatils of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression;..."

How can looking at something differently make it less severe or change your point of view?

roser said...

MAC-Well, I think that Usher was a shady character...I don't know if you got that vibe...he seemed really surreptitious, his mental state was not in good shape

hannahl said...

AlexF - the quote means "his heard is a suspended lute, which when one touches it, it resonates".

lizc said...

The house and the man were both falling apart in similar ways. Poe takes note of a large crack that is creeping its way down the castle wall, and I think that Usher had a large crack that was tearing down through him mentally.

Honestly, I thought that the narrator was not the one that was creepy. I thought that Usher had a lot more problems and I didn't seem to notice that there was something wrong with the narrator.

melissaz said...

Poe seems to find a certain facination of the eye, and other senses. But instead of referring to 2 eyes, he always says a singular eye. Why do you think he does this and where could this detail come from?

whitneys said...

I made some really interesting connections between the house and the host. Usher is trapped by the house, yet the house is a representation of his mind, thus Usher is trapped by his own mind. I really see this with the eye-like windows and Usher's eyes.

KiraW said...

Can one of you French students translate the beginning quote?

mollyd said...

The house and the host are related because they both hold secrets within them. Usher seems to not know what is going on and seems to live in some sort of fear. While the house seems to have a lot of quiet rooms that are unspoken of and never visited.

chelseas said...

I had a few questions:

Why did Usher want him to come-did he know what might happen?

Was it really Madeline that killed him, or someone else?

Would he have died if Poe deciede to read a different book, or was the similarity of the two just a coincidence?

MattN said...

@ MorganT- I really think that if you were looking at the house and at Usher maybe from the Wife's view then you would find the house nmormal and looking fine besides the sickness she has!

morgant said...

Mac- I had some connections to to poem. On part V. that whole part made me think that every "gothic" aspect of a story or of a certain character or object in a story must of had something good before it, and it was not always a dark past. It might not have been dark and scary in the past, it might have been happy but some things happened to it and the results were drastic. It also makes me think that everything has a secret.

AustinD said...

@Macm: I noticed that Rodrick is almost controlled by the house. He is always confined to that one area of the house in his basement due to his illness. That and he goes out and mentions it.

Why do you think Roderick Usher put Madiline in the prision thing while she was still living?

hannahl said...

Alexf- sorry, I meant "his heart...

meganu said...

roser- I definately got the feeling that Usher was a really shady character. Even from the beginning, I couldn't really trust his character.

whitneys said...

What do you guys think is the importance of Usher and his sister being twins and the reflection of the house in the tarn?

lizc said...

hannahl/ macm-

Thanks for the translation! I can see how that has to do with the story. Usher likes a lot of musical things and does not take comfort in much else. The music is what he can touch and make a sound of, and the sound resonates through the home in a way. That is what i took out of the quote.

jordans said...

I also had some questions that I want your opinions on. . .
1. Do you think that Madeline Usher was real?
2. Did Usher want a friend to come or need a friend to come?

kennaw said...

Mac~ some connections i noticed between the house and the Roderick Usher are that they both live in secrets. The outside and inside feel of the house are mysterious, which is a cliche of gothic setting, but I can't figure out the word I want. Besides that, the man grew up shy and reserved not revealing much about him and his family. The house's walls hold all of those secrets and the past that occurred in that house.

delaney n said...

Another theme that seemed repetitive was Poe's refrences to to things being "childish" or "boyish". Why do you think this is?

hannahl said...

Liz - I liked and agreed with your analysis of the quote.

morgant said...

mattn- very true, very true. :) So maybe even being a different character can change your point of view when the rest of the society thinks of it as something else. Good point.

mollyd said...

Hannah L- The guest seems to try and keep Usher in secret. After Madeline dies the narrator tries to keep Usher preoccupied and forget what just happened. I think Usher is so overwhelmed with what had just happened to him that it got to him and eventually led to his death from fear because he was not able to express his sorrow or worries.

AustinD said...

@Jordan: I definetly think he needed a friend. Due to both of the sibling's illnesses, they are almost sperated from each other and he is left in near seclusion in his room.

EmilyJ said...

macm- Good questions! I think that the house of Usher and Roderick Usher had a lot in common. It seemed like they were both very empty and sorrowful. Maybe both were once full of life, light, and happiness, but now they were both dead. They both needed to be cherished by another to keep alive. I noticed that both the house and Usher had lost a great part of them. Usher lost his sister, which led to the house losing Usher. They became lonely individuals who needed something to bring them back to life.

meganu said...

The opening quote means

"His heart is a lute suspended;
As soon as we touched it resonates."

chelseas said...

MorganT-I agree with you. The first time when I read through this, I only saw one side. On the second time reading it, though, I noticed that there was a different side that was shown. I think that this is especially important in a gothic story because there can be many different intrepretations.

MattN said...

JordanS- I think that Usher really didn't need a friend at all, so it confused me at first as to why the narrator would have even been invited.

kennaw said...

After commenting on Macm's question, it made me wonder, does the childhood of the host play an effect into the overall effect of how the host acts, his attitude, and how he is portrayed?

KateP said...

morgant- I think that what you are talking about applies to the lesson today with looking at the man in the picture. Even though some people saw him looking forward and others thought he was looking back, I think that all their interpretations still made since.

KiraW said...

Well now that I know what the beginning quote means, i think that it may mean something about although there is much unrest in the home, he did seem to be able to bring some light when he spoke. Like in Usher’s poem, he seems as if although he is somewhat crazy to us, he is really able to see the bright side of life.

alexf said...

WhitneyS~
I totally agree and that helps clear up the confusion. But really fast, what does Poe mean when, in the second paragraph, he said (bottom line), ““House of Usher” – an appellation which seemed to include, in the minds of the peasantry who used it, both the family and the family mansion.” So here is Poe saying that the “House of Usher” is the family too because the house is a part of the characters and the characters are a part of the house?

AustinD said...

@Megan: Now that we have it translated, how does that connect to the story?

morgant said...

I don't know about you guys, but I noticed that Poe used a lot of personification when describing the house. It kind of made me feel that the house was the thing that had the most power over Usher, first of all, and then Poe kind of at the end of the story in a way.

Oliviak said...

Chelseas I think that Madeline’s death really was the push over the edge for him and he knew he could go on into the next world knowing that she was already gone and that things were taken care of. He had nothing left connecting him to this world.

macm said...

Kennaw-
That's an interesting connection that I didn't really think about. It reminds me of the house in Edward Scissorhands and The Others, sheltering the secrets of the host. I completely agree about it hiding it's past, yet I think that the House and Usher have weaknesses, like the huge crack along the side. Usher's weakness is in his mind and he lets up a bit when he writes his poem, which I think symbolized his past and his family's past

lizc said...

alexf-
I don't think that he was trying to include the house as a family member. By saying "The House of Usher" he is stating that the house and all of the things within it belong to the family but the house is not necessarily part of what they are.

KateP said...

kennaw- I think that the host's childhood plays a large role in this, since at the beginning you could tell there was a secret when the narrator was describing the host's childhood.

chelseas said...

Kenna~ I had the same question. I think that if they might have been closer to one another, and kept in toruch, that the situation might have turned out differently. I also think that this shows what roles relationships play in lives.

delaney n said...

Kennaw- That's what I was thinking in my last comment with the references to words such as "boyish" and "childish".
-Do you think this is because of a happy or unhappy past?
-Do you think it relates more to Usher or the narrator?

jordans said...

I found connections between the house and the host had a lot of relevance to the fact that the host was a twin. I think that as a twin especially in his “special” family tree that he is only connected to family and that they complete him and as his only family member left is deteriorating him too is coming undone. I thought that the house also needed an Usher bloodline to keep it thriving and once it was almost to tits last family member it was coming undone. I found that Madeline was the beauty and Roderick was the brains and that as Madeline became sick and lost weight and didn’t look visually appealing and as this was happening the house lost its visual appeal, and when she is dying Roderick was beginning to go crazy and loose his wits the house was crumbling from the inside and the out.

whitneys said...

melissaz ~ GOOD POINT. I think he speaks of only one eye because when we look,we really do not have two different points of view, but rather the two points combine to form one. This could be symbolic of how the narrator was not really seeing everything and was thus unaware that Usher had tried to kill his sister.

mollyd said...

Jordan S- I like your question about whether Madeline was real or not. After hearing that it makes me think that she may have just been an imanginitive fear that Usher made up because he was so alone in that big house of secrets.

MattN said...

Yea Morgan i Totally agee which is why i think that the house is the host, and Usher and the narrator are all guests in ITS domain. It is like the Shining when the house is actually taking control of the hosts!

hannahl said...

Is family lineage as important as it was in the time of this story? Is it a bad thing to find lineage importance?

morgant said...

katep & chelseas- good points, it definitely also depends on who is looking at it, like mattn was talking about, a certain character could definitely see something a different way and it could totally contrast what the rest of the people think.

alexf said...

KennaW~
Wow, that’s looking at it psychoanalytically! Well, I’m not sure about their childhood, but it did say that Poe was very aware of his family leaving their marks in art, charity, intricacies, and musical science. Well, after reading this again, I sort of got the feeling that the family left their mark throughout their house. Did you notice how he described a lot of details about the house and how the family left their marks in art and music? So maybe the entire family had been connected to the house and the house had been a part of the family?!

EmilyJ said...

I was confused about the very end of the story. Did the house collapse at end after Madeline appears? Did Madeline or Usher die?

lizc said...

Okay, I did not realize that they were intermarrying with themselves to keep the liniage pure. Maybe the main character was so close to his sister because of their relationship and I think that they were used to having stuff like that go on in their family. Their parents probably did it too and so it was something that came natural for them. They also wanted the house to be just them. Hence the "House of Usher" but it is not the shoue of anyone else.

chelseas said...

Olivia-that's what I was thinking too. I thought that since he was close, that her death sort of took the life out of him. I really think that this was the final blow that he could take before he died of his disease.

lizc said...

It would make more sense to say intermarrying with each other. Sorry if anyone was confused about my above comment.

MattN said...

EmilyJ- i think that everyone died except the narrator and the "curse" of the house was destroyed with it.

meganu said...

kiraw- I agree with what you thought of the opening quote. I thought that the house may have a lot of unrest, but it has a will in it to see the bright side. Like in the quote it says, "As soon as we touched it resonates." That shows that it didn't take much to go to the brighter side. The house had been completely worn down but that's not necessarily what it wanted. It had the will and want to change and be better, all it needed was a push from Usher or an outside force to get to that point.

mollyd said...

Emily J- The way I understood it was that after seeing Madeline, Usher died of fear. Then the narrator fled and the house collapsed killing Usher and Madeline. Which ended the Usher family.

macm said...

Emilyj-
Both Madeline and Usher died. Madeline I think because of overexertion after being placed alive into her tomb, and Usher because of her anger at Roderick. The house physically collapses symbolizing the fall of the house(bloodline) of Usher

chelseas said...

EmilyJ- I got the impression that everyone except the narrator died in the end of the story.

morgant said...

Matt- good connection to The Shining! Yea, it definitely reminds me of The Shining and the hotel now that you mention it! It almost seems like the house is the real thing that owns the host and it's guests. That's kind of creepy in a way, but "The Others" also remind me of The Fall of the House of Usher.

whitneys said...

alexf ~ I am confused by that statement. But I think that the house is a representation of the people, because I think Poe uses the description of the house to help describe the people of the house. This is true especially for the sister, because we really do not know much about it. So I think through the house, we see Lady Madeline and how she is broken and full of sorrow, rigid and stiff, and death like.

What do you guys think is the importance of the fissure in the house?

alexf said...

Chelseas~
But if that’s true, (if his sister’s death killed him also), why would Usher try to kill his sister in the first place and why would he ‘dare not’ go save her?

shannanp said...

This is kind of a weird connection but I noticed during the story, Poe repeats alot of themes (such as opium). This is just the same as in children's books, repeating the themes help the children to remeber what is going on in ht story. Poe repeats so that the readern really gets things that are truly important to the story. This takes me back to think about the children's stories that allude to inappropriate or violent things. Not really sure if that makes sense.

KiraW said...

Well now that I know what the beginning quote means, i think that it may mean something about although there is much unrest in the home, he did seem to be able to bring some light when he spoke. Like in Usher’s poem, he seems as if although he is somewhat crazy to us, he is really able to see the bright side of life.

chelseas said...

I have a question that is a little off topic...

Why had it taken so long for Usher to contact the narrator, and why did he call so suddenly and not earlier when he was in good health?

roser said...

Alex-you bring up a good point about Usher, he would have had to be pretty brave to want to kill his bloodline. But I think that her disease was "killing" him, of depression and fear.

macm said...

Morgant-
I have to say that I have read a lot of Gothic material , including Poe and Stephen King, and there is always an object or animal that ends up playing a major role in the psychological development of the main character, like the raven in Poe's famous poem, or the Hotel in the Shining. I feel that the author uses these things as tools since they don't have the advantage of using a happy, wish-fullfilling plot.

delaney n said...

ShannonP- Great point! Poe's elaborate style of writing is hard for us to grasp sometimes. Maybe he knows how skilled he is and uses repitition to help us dissect his way of writing.

What do you guys think?

MattN said...

Yea i totally agree the house in the others is just way way overpowering like the other two stories where there are only two or three people for such a small family, the house is just eating them up in comparison to its size, there are so many things that are never seen that make me feel creepy!

morgant said...

I felt like the videos we have watched and the story we read have something in common about the house in them. The house seemed dark and foreboding yet strangely inviting. Like in "Edward Scissorhands" the garden is so pretty and then you look at the house, but you want to go inside. First impressions can either be correct or wrong. First impressions and deception have a lot to do with gothicism.

alexf said...

WhitneyS~
Well, I think that the fissure is important because it totally foreshadows. I think that it’s saying, there no truly noticeable problem in this house or with our family, but after Poe escaped and took a second, real look at the house, he noticed the fissure growing and expanding. What I mean by this is that I think that after really looking at the house again, or after really looking at the Usher family again, he noticed that it’s breaking and going to fail.

melissaz said...

Chelsea- I think that is was only a matter of time before he would die, no matter the book. I am still struggling with knowing if all of this is his imagination, or if this was really what meant to happen. Roderick knew he would die at the hand of his sister. If you read the first paragraph on the last page, it really strengthens the argument on how he knew his death was coming. He discusses how he heard the noises for many days, and did not say anything. She was coming. The book seems to add to the temperment of the narrator, rather than constructing the death of Roderick. It was added to bring an eriee suspense and fear to the narrator, but she was coming either way.

lizc said...

Chelseas-
That is a really good question and perhaps he took so long to contact her because of his mental state and how much concentration it must have taken him to put his thoughts down on paper.

chelseas said...

AlexF~ good point. I feel that maybe he didn't really think that she was that bad. Maybe he was unaware of how serious her condition was, and then it hit him afterwards what had really happened.

morgant said...

macm- I do agree with you, that seems to be a reoccurring kind of thing with all these gothic stories and videos.

KiraW said...

Interesting thought Sabrina. I think that she may have been an alter ego. I think that there are many examples that may point to her being fake.

kennaw said...

Katep, Chelseas, Delaneyn, and Alexf~ that's exactly what i though and i completely agree. I think part of the reason why Roderick was so unhappy was because of his childhood which triggered his feelings for life and was effected from them at that moment and into his future.

Delaney~ I think that is how the narrator truly feels about his childhood but is portraying it through Roderick if that makes any sense.

Alex~ I know! I was trying to think of that word, psychoanalysis, but I truly think a lot of his issues triggered from his past.

delaney n said...

ChelseaS- Well I think that he may have realized that he was immortal and if he was going to contact the narrator he did not have unlimited time to do it. Sometimes we contact old friends randomly... Something tells me it's the same kind of thing.

mollyd said...

Chelsea- I think Usher was trying to make it on his own but then he finally reached his lowest point and that is when he sent for the narrtor.

shannanp said...

Chelseas-
I was actually wondering the same thing when I read that they were "intimate associates" when they were younger. If they had been so close in their childhood, wouldn't they have at least kept up a little bit? I have a theory that Roderick Usher wanted someone from the "real world", someone who he wasn't always around and someone that he possibly felt that they could pick up where they left off in their relationship.

morgant said...

I just have a quote that I found interesting and it is a little off topic...

"No portion of the masonry ahd fallen; and there appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptation of parts, and teh crumbling condition of the individual stones."

I think this resembles the host's life in a way. Like everything seems to be put together, but inside their life is really crumbling. I just kind of picked up on that.

macm said...

Directed towards the comments that Madeline may not be real, I completely, and reprectively, disagree. If she wasn't real, how did Usher die? What could have explained what the narrator saw? I'm pretty sure he wasn't crazy.

chelseas said...

Melissa and Liz-good thoughts! I had the same ideas, and I just was wondering what other people thought about this question. I definitely think that his mental state had something to do with it.

whitneys said...

Alexf ~ I agree. I also think it shows that no matter how pure the family tries to be, with the incest, it will never last because the pent up emotions of not being to love or know anything else will drive them mad. I think this is really similar to The Crucible, with the girls having so much pent up emotion and sexual tension, and then they suddenly just crack and go crazy.

Oliviak said...

I have a question what is Poe's reason for writing this story?

macm said...

oliviak-
I'm not really sure if you can ever guess the true reason Poe has for writing, but I assume it is to tell something about himself. I feel like in trying to describe Usher and by the writing of the narrator, he reveals certain aspects of his nature.

delaney n said...

OliviaK- I know there is a deeper meaning, but I think Poe writes these kinds of stories because he has such a brilliant mind which conjures a wild imagination. I think writing is Poe's way to express his feelings in a way that presents a story (his imagination) but also incorporates his life, background and inner feelings.

chelseas said...

Olivia-I had the same question, and I was wondering if he was trying to tell you of an experience that he had. Maybe he wants you to feel what he felt because he is not sure of something. He might want to see if other people feel the same way that he does. What do you think?

KiraW said...

Usher. I think that the name also may have to do with the thought that there was no change in the house, yet the house still wanted to usher the faimily forward to the new society. In the rest of society, it was not normal for family incest!

kennaw said...

Oliviak~ I think Poe wrote this story to express his emotions, feelings, and life at the time. I remember my sixth grade teacher told me that often authors write their stories based on their own lives. The same concept applies to Poe. He had a really bad life and turned into a depressed messed up person. He took out a period of his life and put it on paper. I don't doubt that some of the story was exaggerated too.

KateP said...

I agree with Delaneyn. I think that Poe just had a lot of feelings and writing was his way of venting them.

melissaz said...

mac and olivia- I agree with you Mac. I think trying to understand his purpose for writing it will come out unfruitful. It just feels like these stories have an odly real feeling, although their plots are way out there. It just feels like we are inside his mind in a fictional manner. It is to dificult to read a person's inner thoughts. This story just seems to give a strong symbolizm of some aspect of Poe.

MollyS said...

Does anyone else think that the Usher's could be vampires? Or is that just me... I really think that there is good support for this idea. Throughout the story there have been many references to both the colors red and white, which both are related to vampires, in both their skin color and the blood in which they drink. I also think that the fact that they don't see the light of day AND they have a distant relationship with the outside, or moral, if you will, world. Just an idea that I am sure can be disproved quickly. But throughout the whole story, this was the only thing on my mind!

alexf said...

WhitneyS~
I totally agree! Also, if you think about it, Poe said that no one except someone that was looking for a problem would have seen the fissure in the house. What is he trying to say about the family? Is he saying that, when looking at the people and Roderick, one would naturally assume that they are normal and fine looking, but maybe, once you observe the inside of Roderick, you would see the evils brewing inside? The reason I assume this is because I think that the house and Roderick are almost exactly alike and so, if the house looks fine on the inside but horrible things are happening on the outside, then what is Roderick hiding?
(I’m not sure if that really made sense, but it’s just all my thoughts jumbled together!)

jordans said...

Olivia – I think it might be possible that one of many reasons for Poe writing this was his reflection on his family. I don’t know a lot about Poe but I know that at one point he feel in love with his cousin. I think it’s natural for any writer to reflect their own feelings, lives, and experiences.

morganw said...

olivia - I do not think that poe had a specific deeper meaning in mind for this story, or, for that matter, any of his writings. I have to agree with Delaney on this one, I think this is just how Poe's intense imagination and intelligence show themselves.

lizc said...

oliviak-
I think that Poe just had problems that he wanted to release and he could do that no other way but through writing. If he had really done that king of thing in real life then he would have been executed. His writing is a way to put down problems instead of executing them. Sometimes i feel like that is what i need to do because i say stupid things to people and I would be much better off if I just put that into writing.

AustinD said...

In response to the question posed by the inner circle, I'd say definetly (to boundries). There is a trend between everything "Gothic" we have read (Others, Village, this, Tell Tale heart) that one of the main connections between the host and the setting is protection. People in stories like this tend to find a source of issolation and use it to protect them due to their "illness."

whitneys said...

Oliviak ~ I think that perhaps he felt alone through out his childhood and this had caused permanent emotional damage. Thus, the seclusion of the Ushers and their eventual downfall portrays how people need to have contact with other humans in order to survive and to live successfully.

What do you guys think is the significance of the ending?

chelseas said...

This may sound like a weird question, but do you think that the House of Usher was supposed to "fall"? Did the Usher family hope that the house and the name would continue forever, or was it destined to fall at some point?

jordans said...

What do you think the importance of the word house? They never said home or dwelling or any other word and I thought maybe there was some symbolic reasoning. what do you guys think?

MattN said...

~Molly i agree with you that i was thinking bout vampires as well!! they do have some vampirish characteristics but i think it is implausible to think that they were written in the roles of vampires

Ryad said...

I partly agree with Morgan. I think that his stories might have had meaning to him because it was a reflection of HIS emotions and intelligence but we may not be able to make sense of it.

lizc said...

What Sabrina just said about the pond was really good. I definately didn't catch that and it actually makes a lot of sense. However, was he just standing in the woods the whole time imagining it? The inner circle is doing a great job!

shannanp said...

OliviaK-
I was wondering the same thing. One thing that I had been considering was that Poe was trying to tell us something about the way that we live, but putting it to extreme measures to get the point across, perhaps we are too closed in within ourselves for others to actually get to know us?

alexf said...

MollyS~
Been reading “Twilight!?!?” Haha, but I actually never even thought of that! Now that I look at it, however, on page 4 Poe describes how Roderick lost weight, had very acute senses, couldn’t eat food, had sensitive skin, couldn’t stand flowers (and garlic?!?!), couldn’t stand the light, and had a lot to do with music. I really like your idea of him being a vampire. How did it affect the way you interpreted the story?

morgant said...

Austin- That is a good point, I agree with that. The clip we watched from "The Others" really stands out to me. I feel that she wanted to hide from something, or be protected from something so there were certain ways to do things in the house that couldn't be done any other way, kind of like locking the door every time you went through a door in the house.

rachels said...

I think that he wrote the short story in order to think through the massive thoughts that were going through his head. To me it sounds like he is dealing with depression, which include intrusive thoughts. He could be working through guilt or pain he felt in family relationships.

macm said...

whitneys-
I think that the ending is symbolic in many ways. When the actual house collapses, I think that it not only represents the breakdown of Usher's mind, but also the end of the bloodline that had been preserved for so many years. The person, house and family are very connected, for they all had a noble past, yet withered away into decay.

lizc said...

molly- I think that your head is stuck in Twilight. =) I think that Poe was trying to describe a gothic story that contained people with a lot of problems and he probably wanted to write down his feelings about something.

melissaz said...

With what Sabrina is saying on the inner circle, I can totally understand her point about how the house and all the events may not be real, just his imagination. Through out the whole story, I struggled with really believing this story as total truth and not an elaboration of his imagination. But then, as Morgan is elaborating, there are many signs of this being the real and true story. Now I am kind of feeling like we can take aspects of the reality and of his imagination; both of these I feel combine to create this story.

rachels said...

What big idea do you think Poe was trying to get across or have us think about? What was his main point?

Oliviak said...

I think that Poe wrote this story to show how you cannot keep thing isolated because that is disturbing the order of nature. But in general I think that Poe wrote these stories to shows his opinion and to express his feelings about events that may have happened to him or he was just letting his mind run wild.

lizc said...

macm-
Yes, I definately agree with you about the house falling and symbolizing the end of the bloodline. It was definately finalizing the end and making a point of the fact that "The House of Usher" didn't exist anymore.

jordans said...

How does Poe's reflectiona and feelings about family reveal itself in this story? How do you think he feels about family?

chelseas said...

Jordan-good question. I think that they did not use the word home because it seems like a happy place, or at least I think that. I think that they use house because it has almost a larger sense, and it vast. It is interesting that they don't use mansion, or something...

KiraW said...

At Chelseas~

I think that yes, the house was designed to fall. I don't think that, unless the original family members were very unintelligent, they would have to see that there would be reprecussions of their "purifying" their blood line.

mollyd said...

After reading everyone's comments there are so many different interpretations of the story. I personally don't really know what to think about it.

delaney n said...

Molly and Matt- On the whole vampire subject... I got that vibe too and I think I have good reasoning for this whether it is true or not. People (typically) are creeped out by vampires. They are something that have always been an uncomfortable being. I think Poe did this on purpose just to explain how odd these people really were...

shannanp said...

All of this talk about if the house actually existed reminds me of Holly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (underlined). Everyone says that she is kind of crazy because of all of the things that are ridiculous, but she actually, truly believes these things. If the house actually doesn't exist, Poe still really believes that its there and that everything happened. Did anyone else see this connection-its a bit far stretched.

rachels said...

Melissa- I think that in a lot of ways Poe is being more honest than we tend to believe. Obviously a house didn't collapse after its inhabitants die, but I think Poe was being very honest about his feelings and not trying to hide anything. So in a way it is a very real story, but not a physically real story. Maybe the reason he made it unbelieveable is because he didn't want people to understand that this was how he was really feeling.

rachels said...

I was just wondering if you would agree that the reason so much of Poe's writing is in a gothic setting is because beauty doesn't really fit into that setting, and Poe didn't seem to feel that beauty fit into his life.