The first person point of view applied in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall Of The House Of Usher". What effects does it have on the reader and on the story itself?

Essay by RoderickUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, December 2002

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A view of madness

Edgar Allan Poe is known to be among the greatest writers of all-time in horror literature. One of his most popular story is the twisted The Fall of the House of Usher. Roderick and his twin sister Madeline are the last of all-time honoured "House of Usher". They are both suffering from a strange illness that seemed to be spread in the family. Being ill himself and depressed by his sister's deteriorating condition, Roderick seeks help from his childhood companion, which appears to be the narrator in the story. That companion is about to be drawn into the mind of a madman, where fantasy becomes reality. The fact that the story is told in the first person, by that narrator, has some important effects on the reader and on the story itself.

In this story, the narrator is a character of whom we know very little, who acts like a participant or an observer.

As the story goes on, it is very easy for the reader to become the narrator. In other words, it is easy to become the "friend" of Roderick. The friend have not seen Roderick for many years, but agreed to his companion's request and made his journey to the house. At this point, the narrator doesn't know what to expect or what could have become of his old pal. For the reader, it's quite the same thing; we don't know what kind of man is Roderick Usher. "We sat down; and for some moments, while he spoke not, I gazed upon him with a feeling half of pity, half of awe. Surely, man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher! It was with difficulty that I could bring myself to admit the identity...