Much of the atmosphere of horror in both stories is developed through the use of setting. In particular, the external settings in Gothic fiction are not intended as realistic, but rather as reflections of the characters' psychological states. Some critics refer to this technique as the "pathetic fallacy", Some critics refer to this technique as the "pathetic fallacy", because in reality there is no causal connection between a character's feelings and the external world.
Study Questions 1 1. The siblings are an external representation of the philosophical relationship between mind and body, but become overly identified with their respective halves of the equation. Insofar as sickness plagues both siblings, Poe suggests that a complete split between mind and body is ultimately impossible.
The narrator creates a physical doppelganger out of his own mental pathology.
While each explains the circumstances of his hideous actions, he also attempts to defend his sanity. Each provides a rational explanation of his mental fixations and portrays his criminal activity as excusable within the logic of his confessions.
These two narrators use the form of the confession to explain away the content of their actions, but Poe uses this intimate connection between form and content to undermine their reliability as narrators.
He believes that a precise description of his murder of the old man will establish his reliability as a sane narrator.
In other words, he trusts in the intimate connection between form and content, but he never understands that the murderous content of his confession can make the clearness of his form irrelevant.
He is unable to perceive that by admitting his irrational fixation on a vulture-eye, he reveals his own mental pathology. On the one hand, he offers the external substance of alcohol as a rational explanation for his mood swings and his hanging of Pluto. On the other hand, though, he then uncritically accepts the appearance of the second cat with its changing fur in the shape of the gallows.
The narrator unwittingly portrays his own insanity by demonstrating his inability to escape the hauntings of the second cat. Though he employs the form of the confession to explain his actions, the narrator fails to see that these actions illustrate his deranged mentality. Poe elicits terror in these stories by enclosing his characters within confined settings that take on Gothic characteristics.
The setting, a prison cell, becomes a metaphor for the authoritarian power of the Inquisition.
We never see any human representatives of the Inquisition. In this way, Poe imbues the physical setting with the human capacity for evil. He uses them to kill, rather than merely to contain the bodies of those already dead.
Montresor transforms a hallowed family space of memory and tribute into a weapon of revenge.
Whereas Prince Prospero believes he can use the walls of his palace to fend off the spread of the Red Death, the story reveals that death knows no boundaries. The lavish setting of the palace on the night of the masquerade also contrasts with the impoverished living conditions of the surrounding peasants, who are the first to suffer from the plague.
The interior layout of the palace, which promotes the progression of guests from east to west, is an allegory for the life cycle of a day. With the westernmost room, which features the color black and contains a massive clock, Poe suggests that all the guests must end up in this room of death, which ticks away the hours of life.The Fall of the House of Usher Edgar Allan Poe The following entry presents criticism of Poe's short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” ().
Setting and Narrative Style in Pit and the Pendulum, House of Usher, Black Cat, and Cask of Amontillado The focus of this essay is the setting and narrative style used in the works of Edgar Allen Poe. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe, renowned as the foremost master of the short-story form of writing, chiefly tales of the mysterious and macabre, has established his short stories as leading proponents of “Gothic” literature.
"The Fall of the House of Usher" is a narrative short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine before being included in the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque in THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER BY EDGAR ALLAN POE Short Story: “The Fall of the House of Usher” Author: Edgar Allan Poe, –49 First published: The original short story is in the public domain in the.
Edgar Allen Poe's Use of Gothic Setting in The Fall of the House of Usher "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe has a gothic horror story setting. Gothic means that the author emphasizes the mysterious, the horrible, the ghostly and the fear that can be aroused in the reader.