“The Raven”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”
The words, “It is a skill we learn early, the art of inventing stories to explain away the fearful sacred strangeness of the world. Storytelling and make-believe, like war and agriculture, are among the arts of self-defense, and all of them are ways of enclosing otherness and claiming ownership,” once spoken by William Kittredge, explain how many people use writing and storytelling as a way to deal with situations and struggles that they have had to overcome in their lifetime. Edgar Allan Poe is a perfect example of this. Poe life experiences can be compared to the events in his poems and short stories such as “The Raven” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”.
In the poem “The Raven”, the narrator is mourning the death of his long lost love Lenore. When he hears a tapping at his door, he hopes that it is Lenore coming back to him but instead he finds the raven. The raven was used to represent the everlasting remembrance of his love. The raven is also a symbol of the devil, or a messenger from the afterlife. Poe personifies the raven, giving it the capability to speak only one word to the narrator; “Nevermore”. The narrator of the story asks the raven questions one after the other even though he keeps receiving the same answer of “Nevermore”. Each time a new question is answered with the same word, the narrator becomes increasingly angry and bitter until he works himself into a fit of rage. This eventually leads to his descent into madness. Throughout the story, Poe works to create a single effect of gloom and doom which is similar to the mood in “The Fall of the House of Usher”.
In “The Fall of the House of Usher”, also written by Edgar Allan Poe, the dark and dismal mood is set the very second that the narrator arrives at the house though the dying and decaying vegetation and the mist above the murky tarn. Shortly after the narrator arrives, the readers are introduced to the main character, Roderick Usher,...