The Fall of the House of Usher: How Roderick Truly Feels
In Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Fall of the House of Usher", it may seem as though Roderick Usher laments over the loss of his dear sister. However, he truly wants her to die because she represents the immoral tradition of incest among the Usher family lineage, which Roderick wants to end. However, when Madeline awakes from her apparent death, Roderick realizes that he must continue his relationship with her. This becomes too much for him, and causes not only him to break down, but also the house, which is a metaphor for him. Poe uses Roderick’s actions toward his sister, as well as, the metaphor of the house to show that in reality, Roderick wishes the death of Madeline.
Although Roderick shows remorse for his dying sister, he hides how he truly feels about the situation. He spites his sister because to him she represents the incest in which they had taken part in and which he wanted to stop. The narrator claimed that Roderick had "a bitterness"(542) about him when talking about the death of his sister. This is not necessarily the feeling of sorrow and regret, but more likely one of anger towards his sister. He shows that anger after her death by burying her in
Th fact that Madelin is pinning Roderick to the floor signfies that he would once again be a slave to their sinful relationship. When Madelin returns, she falls on Roderick and "bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to the terrors he had anticipated"(550). They both show him wishing her demise and regretting her awakening from the grave, because he wants to be free from the immoral sin he has been committing. Many physical similarities are shared between Roderick and the house. The narrator describes the "crumbling condition" that each stone had yet goes on to say that "no masonry had fallen; and therappeared to be a" perfect adaptation of parts"(539). Roderick"tms want for the death of his sister is also seen in the way he reacts toward her revival. This metaphor is effective in showing the emotions Roderick has toward Madeline and what she represents. He even admits, himself, that he "heard her feeble first movements in the hollow coffin" yet he dared not--- he dared not speak!"(549). The narrator states that it was "oppressive" and entirely without means of admission of light"(546), representing the nature of the dark sin in which he and Madeline, as well as their ancestors, had taken a part in. The narrator describes how he gazes upon both at first sight, amazed at the appearance of each. Like the house, Roderick is not in the best of shape emotionally, but he is stable. Instead of giving her a proper burial, with a ceremony and flowered decorations as one normally does for someone they admire, Roderick opts to entomb his sister under the house, secretly, with only the help of his friend. The vault in which he places her also shows how he feels.