Create a new account

It's simple, and free.


Edgar Allan Poe uses many common elements in his stories. Attention to sensory detail, symbolism as well as the trip into the dark imagination is all present in both of Poe’s stories, “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Black Cat.” Symbolism is a common tie between Poe’s two stories. In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe uses the phrase "House of Usher" as a reference to the decomposing mansion as well as the "all time-honored Usher race...." Roderick feels that crumbling stones of the house somewhat represent the crumbling fate of the Usher family. "He was enchained by certain superstitious impressions in regard to the dwelling which he tenanted, and whence for many years, he had never ventured forth...." Another connection is made in the story between a house and a person in the poem, "The Haunted Palace." The crack in the Usher mansion which is hardly distinguishable at first, suggests that there is a missing cornerstone in the relationship between the twins, Roderick and Madeline, and this also forebodes the final damnation of the house as well as the Usher bloodline. Moving on to the equally, if not more disturbing short story by Poe “The Black Cat,” you can see more examples of superstition. In this story, superstition, such as the belief the man’s wife has about witches assuming forms of black cats, becomes symbolic. Black cats are symbols of bad luck, death, sorcery, witchcraft, and the spirits of the dead, if you hold stock in superstition. The narrator names his ebony feline Pluto, which I found interesting because Pluto is the Roman god of the dead and the ruler of the underworld. Could this be symbolism? I think so. In the short, or as a junior English student might say, not so short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe analyzes the workings of the imagination, but also describes the destructive dangers within the human mind. Roderick’s fantasy quickly becomes his reality; ...

Page 1 of 3 Next >

Related Essays:

APA     MLA     Chicago
Poe. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:12, August 27, 2014, from