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 a donjon. 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. He does not give her any respect in her death. The vault in which he places her also shows how he feels. 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. In burying Madelin in this tomb, he is trying to bury the incestuous tradition of his family, for which he feels guilty.
Roderick’s want for the death o...