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The Internal Conflict of Roderick Usher

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 internal conflict is directly fueled by the fact that his sister is very sick, and he knows she will die soon. Madeline is his last relative on Earth, and Usher is upset knowing that his lifelong companion will soon be no more. 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. (Poe 721) When Usher learns of his sister’s illness, he speaks of the desire to “preserve her” for another night, and decides to place her in one of the numerous tombs throughout the household. 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. When the narrator and...

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The Internal Conflict of Roderick Usher. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:59, August 21, 2014, from