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Olga Tatarinova ENC-1102 Position Paper 2 The Fall of the House of Usher Setting In the short story The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe setting is used extensively to do many things The author uses it to convey ideas effects and images It establishes a mood and foreshadows future events Poe communicates truths about the character through setting Symbols are also used throughout to help understand the theme through the setting Poe uses the setting to create an atmosphere in the readers mind He chose every word in every sentence carefully to create a gloomy mood For example Ushers house its windows bricks and dungeon are all used to make a dismal atmosphere The white trunks of decayed trees the black and lurid tarn and the vacant eyelike windows contribute to the collective atmosphere of despair and anguish This is done with the words black lurid decayed and vacant The narrator says that the Usher mansion had an atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven It was nowhere near being beautiful holy or clean He uses descriptive words such as decayed strange peculiar mystic Gothic dull and sluggish to create the atmosphere Poes careful choice of words creates a very effective atmosphere in the story Another important way Poe uses the setting is to foreshadow events in the story Roderick Ushers mansion is one example of this There is a barely perceptible fissure in the masonry It is a small crack in The House of Usher which the narrator defines as both the family and the family mansion This foreshadows an event that will ruin the house and the family The fissure divides the house Roderick and Madeline die destroying the family The narrator says there is a wild inconsistency between the masonrys still perfect adaptation and the crumbling condition of the individual stones This is also symbolic The
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