13. How does Poe’s use of the doubling in “The Fall of the House of Usher” increase the scariness of the tale?
«”The saddest and the strangest figure in American literary history”, Killis Campbell called him. “Few writers have lived a life so full of struggle and disappointment, and none have lived and died more completely out of sympathy with their times.” Poe was another writer interested in psychology and the darker side of human nature. » (Ştefanovici, Anda: pp. 135-136) This way of living might have a strong influence on his gothic stories.
The theme of the double is realized with lots of gothic elements which increase the scariness of the tale, and the scariness, the fear, the terror are important gothic motifs used in the tale.
The story has three parts. It begins with the narrator’s arrival at the house, the description of the house and the connection with the characters, then the events that take place in the house during the visit, and then the fall of the characters and of the house. So we can see that the story begins and ends with the description of the house.
The story begins with a gothic element, an appropriate atmosphere, the autumn, which signifies the end of a life cycle, in our case, the end of the Usher generation and of the Usher mansion: “During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.” (The Fall of the House of Usher: p.76) There are a lot of gothic elements that help to create this atmosphere: “I looked upon the scene before me --upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain --upon the bleak walls --upon the vacant eye-like windows --upon a few rank sedges --and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees --with an utter...