Death is defined as, "The termination or extinction of something." Edgar Allen Poe uses this description in "The Fall of the House of Usher" in different ways. Poe's intention when writing "The Fall of the House of Usher" was not to present a moral, lesson, or truth to the reader; he was simply trying to bring forth a sense of terror to the reader. Poe's mind works this way, and critics believe this statement, especially when related to this story.
Poe is grouped with other writers in the Romantic period. Writers of this period focused on life, emotions, and the existence of the human race. Although Poe's work has many characteristics of Romanticism, "The Fall of the House of Usher", falls into the Gothic category. "It is usually admired for its 'atmosphere' and for its exquisitely artificial manipulation of Gothic claptrap and decor." Bringing forth the symbolism of death is a major part of this writing. All of the characters in "The Fall of the House of Usher" are linked to death; by physical objects or by other people. "There are no
The physical aspect of the House of Usher symbolizes death, in the chain of events, during the story. Even Poe's description of the house has deadly characteristics. Poe describes the house as having "eye-like windows" and being covered by "minute fungi...hanging in a fine tangled web-work from the eaves; a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the sullen waters of the tarn". This "fissure" is presented to the reader, early in the story, to represent that Roderick's love for his twin sister, Madeline, was dying, because she was suffering from a mysterious malady, or disease, that baffled her doctors. This caused Roderick to be emotionally and physically depressed, and was described as a madman at this point. "He was convinced that his whol