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Essay written by Henry George When reviewing Nathaniel Hawthornes Tales Edgar Allen Poe pronounced that the short story if skillfully written should deliver a single preconceived effect- an effect upon which incidents be fashioned to accommodate that effect Edgar Allen Poe was indeed a skillful writer His short story The Fall of the House of Usher is a flawless example of a story in which all elements contribute to the delivery of a single emotional effect Poe accomplishes this by achieving a perfect tone developing suspense and unifying stylistic elements thereby meeting his own criteria In his pronouncement Poe also wrote that In the whole composition there should be no word written of which the tendency direct or indirect is not to the one pre-established design Thus in The Fall of the House of Usher Poe creates a perfect tone critical to the delivery of his preconceived effect The senses of insufferable gloom utter depression of soul and sinking sickening of the heart which pervade the narrators spirit immediately establish the tone The narrators description of the scene as dull dark bleak desolate and terrible all function in communicating the tone These concrete and denotative words ensure a clear and solid tone is conveyed to the reader thereby contributing to the overall effect of terror The regular use or repetition of the words dark gloomy and oppressive in some form serves function to further define and emphasize a perfect tone It also perceivable that Poes choice in the narrators role being the participant supports his intent to communicate consistent feelings hence consistent tone In order to strengthen his already established tone Poe selectively uses imagery in scenes of terrible nature The imagery created by the descriptive details of the lofty and enshrouded figure of the lady Madeline of Usher and the blood upon her white robes evidence of some bitter struggle upon every portion of her emaciated frame exemplify the imagery created by
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