The Internal Conflict of Roderick Usher

Length: 3 Pages 662 Words

The Internal Conflict of Roderick Usher In Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Roderick Usher faces a very obvious internal conflict that is the result of the intimate relationship he and his sister shared. They are twins, and the last people in their family, which has been incestuous in the past. Roderick Usher and his sister rely on each other to keep the Usher family in continuation, and when Usher buries his sister before her obvious time, he feels guilt for the crime he committed, which aid to his personal conflict. “I had learned, too, the very remarkable fact, that the stem of the Usher race, all time-honored as it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch; in other words, that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain” (Poe 719) Roderick Usher and his sister were incestuous, and thus were the last two members of the family. Usher’s Continue...


Madeline is his last relative on Earth, and Usher is upset knowing that his lifelong companion will soon be no more. When Madeline embraces him after clawing her way out of the tomb, she kills both herself and her brother. He goes into an obvious depression, which eventually turns into an outrage on the narrator. He admitted, however, although with hesitation, that much of the peculiar gloom which thus afflicted him could be traced to a more natural and far more palpable origin-to the severe and long-continued illness-indeed to the evidently approaching dissolution-of a tenderly beloved sister; his sole companion for long years-his last and only relative on earth. internal conflict is directly fueled by the fact that his sister is very sick, and he knows she will die soon. He knows he's buried his sister alive, and when they hear a "scratching at the door, they turn around to see Madeline, who obviously went through a struggle to escape. At this point, Madeline jumps to embrace her brother, and they both fall to the floor, dead. Throughout the short story, Roderick Usher is battling an intense internal conflict, which was fueled by his sister, their relationship with each other, and the dependency on each other to survive. When they both pass together, they're putting the other at ease, knowing that one half won't ever have to survive without the other again. Since their family has been known to be inbred, they have a sibling bond, but also have a deeper bond because they've relied on each other for survival for many years. Once Madeline is buried alive, Roderick Usher realizes that he's buried his one true love alive, and that she will soon be dead. This fuels his internal conflict because now he's not only struggling with their incestuous history, but her untimely death as well. Secretly, Usher knows that his sister isn't completely dead, but wants to bury her before her time so he doesn't have to witness her actual death.