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Word Count: 439
In The Fall of the House of Usher there is ambiguity surrounding Madelines death and her return--neither the characters nor the readers know the cause of Madelines death or if she was actually dead when buried Soon after the burial Usher starts to suspect that they had buried Madeline while she was still alive I hear it and have heard itMany minutes many hours many days have I heard ityet I dared not speak We have put her living in the tomb 28 This uncertainty creates trepidation and fear for Usher because he fears Madeline ishurrying to upbraid him for his haste in burying her he becomes apprehensive and anxious at the sounds he hears in his house not knowing if they are coming from the tombs The fear and suspense that overcome Usher drives him towards insanity by overwhelming and consuming his life with hysteria and fear of everything around him Ushers fears take over his thoughts There was a species of mad hilarity in his eyes--an evidently restrained hysteria in his whole demeanor 25 From being in constant fear and anticipation Ushers actions become irrational muttering to himself and gazing upon vacancy for long hours in an attitude of the profoundest attention as if listening to some imaginary sound 24 The cause of the hysteria and terror in Usher is unknown to the narrator for most of the story--until Usher finally admits that he suspected he buried Madeline alive The narrator witnesses the strange changes coming over Usher which begin to terrify him as they increase It was no wonder that his condition terrified--that it infected me I felt creeping upon me by slow yet certain degrees the wild influences of his own fantastic yet impressive superstitions 24 The mysteriousness of Ushers condition creates fear and suspense in the narrator because he feels overpowered by an intense sentiment of horror unaccountable yet unendurable 25 and like Usher
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