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Word Count: 589
A sense of the supernatural and mystic surrounding the house pervades the narration from the very beginning The house is personalised as the narrator and Roderick attribute to it the ability to influence people its inhabitants as well as the narrator We are thus made to consider it as more than merely a part of the background for the story The first hint at the house being a metaphor of the self is given in the fact that the local peasants used the term House of Usher for both the mansion and the Usher family as though they are inseparable However the foundation for Hoffmans statement lies primarily in the narrators descriptions of the house and of Roderick which are strikingly similar The bleak discoloured walls can be compared to the ghastly pallor of Rodericks skin Poe 1994 p80 and as fungi covering the walls find their counterpart in Rodericks hair both are web-like the eye-like windows find theirs in Rodericks lustre of the eye Poe 1994 p80 Similarly the remoter angles of Rodericks chamber or the recesses of the vaulted and fretted ceiling Poe 1994 p80 which the narrator can not see may be compared to the unknown parts of a persons mind Furthermore a certain inconsistency is mentioned in both descriptions a wild inconsistency between the houses still perfect adaptation of parts and the crumbling condition of the individual stones Poe 1994 p79 and an inconsistency in Rodericks manner which arose from a mental disorder thus making an explicit connection between the general state of the building and the mental state of its inhabitants Here we must note a tiny fissure the narrator notices in the structure of the house hinting at Rodericks mental disintegration The idea of a correlation between the two states is further developed in The Haunted Palace - a poem read to the narrator by Roderick It implies that the house had once been a fair and stately palace
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