“Such is the influence which the condition of our own thoughts, exercises, even over the appearance of external objects. Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the somber colors are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision. ” (Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist) This belief that the world is dark and gloomy is believed by many authors of the romantic period.
They were called the Dark romantics for their more gloomy and depressing views of people and life. One author who shows his dark romantic beliefs in his writings is Edgar Allen Poe. In “The Fall of the House of Usher” Poe’s use of tone and style reveals his dark romanticism. Poe uses a dark and gothic tone to describe the scenes in the story due to his dark view of the world.
He describes the house of Usher in a gloomy and dark tone, “Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks. In this, the narrator uses the word gloom to give an overarching description of the mansion giving it a depressing and sad feeling. This is Poe expressing his own views of how omething as amazing and beautiful as a mansion is still gloomy because to him everything is dark and gloomy. Then later Poe uses similar language do describe a room in the house, “Dark draperies hung upon the walls. The general furniture was profuse, comfortless, antique, and tattered.
Many books and musical instruments lay scattered about but failed to give any vitality to the scene. I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow. An air of stern, deep, and irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all. ” In this passage, he uses gloom a second time to describe the room as well as sorrow, dark and tattered ll these words give the description a darker and more depressing tone. Poe again uses these words due to his dark view of life and his gloomy feeling, he describes everything in the story in a dark and somber way.
In “The Fall of the House of Usher” Poe also displays his dark romanticism in his writing style of projection of one’s inner state onto something of someone else. He does this with both the sister of Roderick as a symbol and projection of the brother’s inner state of mind and with the house as a symbol for the Usher family line. First is the symbol of Roderick’s sister, in the story, Roderick is aid to have a twin sister that is sick.
Through the story she gets sicker and sicker at the beginning she is still somewhat okay she is walking about the house, “While he spoke, the lady Madeline (for so was she called) passed slowly through a remote portion of the apartment, and, without having noticed my presence, disappeared. ” At this point we see that Roderick’s mental state is still somewhat intact he is just a sad man, “but he had buried his face in his hands, and I could only perceive that a far more than ordinary wanes had overspread the emaciated fingers hrough which trickled many passionate tears. As the story progresses we see that as Rodrick’s mental state continues to deteriorate so does the physical Lady Madeline. “when, one evening, having informed me abruptly that the lady Madeline was no more, he stated his intention of preserving her corpse for a fortnight. Here we see that right as Madeline has seemingly died Roderick has gone mad saying they should bury her in a caller in the house.
This behavior of wanting to preserve a dead sister in your own home is a sign that Roderick has lost it and is going insane. Then at the end of the story, we finally see Roderick’s mental state and Lady Madeline physical states line up when they both die. “It was the work of the rushing gust — but then without those doors there did stand the lofty and enshrouded figure of the lady Madeline of Usher. There was blood upon her white robes and the evidence of some bitter struggle upon every portion of her emaciated frame.
For a moment she remained trembling and reeling to and for upon the threshold — then, with a low moaning cry, fell heavily inward upon the person of her brother, and in her violent and now final eath-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to the terrors he had anticipated. ” Here as Lady Madeline dies in the doorway we see Roderick die as well because when she finally does die it is actually Roderick finally dying of insanity. From this, it is clear that Lady Madeline was a physical representation of Roderick.
This is a style used by Poe as well as other dark romantic authors to understand the connection people have to the darker part of themselves. The second time Poe uses symbols as a reflection of another thing is The House of Usher and the usher family tree. In the beginning the house is describes as having a very small crack in it just minimal damage, “Perhaps the eye of a scrutinizing observer might have discovered 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. at this point the house is able to be repaired and fixed the crack is not even a large enough thing to native less you look for it just as the Family tree is not in serious danger at that moment.
At that time Roderick is still able o recover and be ok he is fixable just as the house is. Then at the end of the story when the house falls and both Madeline and Roderick are data we see another connection. While | gazed, this fissure rapidly widened — there came a fierce breath of the whirlwind — the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my sight — my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder — there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters — and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the “House of Usher. ” Here the connection is that the physical ouse of usher fell as the metaphorical house of usher, family line, fell as well.
This connection and symbolism is again something that was done by dark romantic authors making Poe one of the authors in that category. Through “The Fall of the House of Usher” Poe uses style and tone to display his dark romantic beliefs. As many authors did in that time Poe wrote in a way that matched the way he viewed the world. These darker views were shared and spread through the works of authors from this group in the romantic period. The romantics believed in studying the emotions of the world and the dark romantic did just that.