Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe “The Fall of

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					                                Edgar Allan Poe




        “The Fall of the House of Usher”
                  “The Raven”
1   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                     8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
          Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
     His mother, his friend’s mother, step-mother, and wife all died of
        tuberculosis (consumption)
       Born in Boston
       Parents were travelling actors
       1 of 3 children
       His father abandoned the family
       Raised by the Allans
       Mr. Allan was a successful tobacco exporter
       He lived with Mrs. Clem (his aunt) and his 8 year old cousin,
        Virginia in Baltimore
       He married his cousin Virginia; he was 27 and she was 13.
       His marriage lasted 11 years
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       Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
 Lived in England, Boston, Richmond, Philadelphia, New
    York, and Baltimore
   Went to the University of Virginia, West Point
   Drinking, Drug, and Gambling problems
   Enlisted in the military under an alias (Edgar A. Perry)
   Disinherited by his step-father
   Researchers theorize he may have been a diabetic explaining some
    of his behavior
   At the end of life, he was engaged to his fiancée from when he was
    young Elmira Shelton, now a wealthy widow
   He died in Baltimore alone
   Slanderous obituary
   ―The Edgar‖ Mystery Writers of America Award
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     Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
 Wrote 3 volumes of poetry
     Tammerlane and Other Poems, Volume 1
     Al Aaraaff. Volume 2
     Poems, Volume 3
              ―The Raven‖
 Inventor of the detective story
 His story The Murders in the Rue Morgue is widely considered to
  be the first modern detective story
 Short Stories published in newspapers
 Only novel was The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
 Known for his psychological thrillers
 Known as America‟s first imaginative writer
 ―The Fall of the House of Usher‖
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       Single Effect pg 311, 335
     Single Effect-In writing constructed to achieve a
     single effect, every character, incident and detail
     contributes to an overall impression.

     Poe believed that every character, incident,
     and detail should contribute to this effect.

     Example “There was an iciness, a sinking, a
     sickening of the heart—an unredeemed
     dreariness of thought which no goading of
     the imagination could torture into aught of
     the sublime.”
5      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337               8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
      **Elements of Gothic Literature**
     The story is set in bleak or remote places


     The plot involves macabre (ghoulish) or violent
     incidents

     Characters are in psychological and/or physical
     torment

     A supernatural or otherworldly element is
     often present
6     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337            8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     Gothic Literature Examples
     Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein


     Bram Stoker’s Dracula


     Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire




7    Mrs. Billet pages 310-337               8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
        ****Vocabulary pg 311
     Importunate               insistent
     Munificent             generous
     Equivocal having more than one possible interpretation, ambivalence

     Appellation            name or title
     Specious Seeming to be good or sound without actually being so

     Anomalous abnormal

     Sentience Capacity of feeling

     Obeisance             gesture of respect
     Craven          Very cowardly
8       Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                      8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
       Additional Vocabulary
    phantasmagoric - an exhibition or display of optical effects
     and illusions pg 316

    Phantasm- fantasy, dream

    pallid - Lacking intensity of color or luminousness

    Wariness- guardedness, suspiciousness

    Porphyrogene- a royal birth pg 321



9      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                 8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
      Additional Vocabulary
                          spoken lies
 Slanderous=                              pg 310

 Eccentric=            strange, odd, unusual


 Irreparable=          beyond repair, permanent


 Legacy =      lasting record, remembrance


 Tarn=        lake               pg 314

 Fissure=         crack          pg 316

 Countenance= face

 Ennuye=       bored (French)
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     Additional Vocabulary
  Cadaver, cadaverous =             dead body, deadlike       pg 317

  Wan=          sickly, pale

  Pallor=         pale, white

  Malady=           ill, symptom, problem

  Insipid=        dull/tasteless    pg 318

  Phantasm=            Fantasy/dream


  Hypochondriac=                Someone with an imaginary illness


  Dirges=             improvised song or hymn
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        Additional Vocabulary
      Ethelred-          Hero of the story Mad Trist


      Hermit=              a person who wants to live alone



      Tempest-            storm


      Mace= Middle Age Weapon, (spiked club)


      Emaciated-              very thin (starving)




12      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                              8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     The Fall of The House of Usher
  Published in 1839
  Odd deterioration of Roderick Usher
  Narrator uses reason
  Consists of mystery and horror
  Psychological thriller
  Mansion of gloom, tarn (lake), decayed trees
  Letter addressed to his friend
  Roderick is described as being in an excessive nervous
   agitation, mental disorder, and has an earnest desire to see his
   friend
  The friend travels on horseback to the House of Usher. It is
   the autumn of the year, and there is a sense of death and decay
   surrounding the Usher mansion.
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        The Fall of The House of Usher
      Ushers Inbreeding
      House of Usher- fungi covered, Gothic mansion, somber
       tapestries, antique tattered furniture, uncomfortable
      Gloom, sullen


      Characters:
        Roderick Usher
        Lady Madeleine (twins), died during youth
        Boyhood friend, Narrator
        Family doctor
        Valet, Stable person
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        The Fall of The House of Usher
       The phrase “equivocal appellation of the „House of
        Usher‟” refers to the fact that

 The title ―House of Usher‖ seems to include both the estate and the
  family.

       ****The causes for Roderick’s affliction are a mystery. One
        possible factor Usher mentions is the failing health
        of his beloved sister.



 15     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                    8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
         The Fall of The House of Usher
 Symptoms pg 318, " They are both suffering from rather strange
     illnesses which may be attributed to the intermarriage of the
     family. "...

 Description of Lady Madeleine pg 318
      Her disease baffled doctors


 ―Roderick and his friend painted and read together, his friend
     listened, as if in a dream, to the wild improvisations of his
     speaking guitar‖. Pg 319


16       Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                       8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
       The Fall of The House of Usher
  Roderick suffers from "a morbid acuteness of the senses";
     while Madeline's illness is characterized by "...a
     settled apathy (lethargy), a gradual wasting away of the
     person, and frequent although transient affections of a partly
     cataleptically (trancelike state marked by loss of
     voluntary motion) character..." which caused her to lose
     consciousness and feeling. The body would then assume a
     deathlike rigidity.




17     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                    8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     The Fall of The House of Usher
  Usher described as a hypochondriac, pg 319
  Vault or tunnel, pg 320
  Guitar, accompanied with words of fantasies, rhymed verbal
   improvisations
  ―The Haunted Palace‖ ballad (song) =
     Usher's improvised poem
                 Ballad
                 “The Haunted Palace” its lyrics of the song
                   describe the mysterious, desolate palace of a
                   doomed king.

18   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                     8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
      Metaphor- One thing conceived as
      representing another; a symbol
  “The Haunted Palace” ballad
     (poem/song) within a story

  The lyrics describe the mysterious,
     desolate palace of a doomed king.

  The doomed king is a metaphor for
     Roderick Usher (mind).
19    Mrs. Billet pages 310-337   8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     The Fall of The House of Usher
  Description of the tomb pg 323, massive iron
   doors
  The tomb was originally used to stored gun
   powder
  Pg 324, description of Usher‟s madness
  Narrator being affected by Usher’s behavior
  7th or 8th day after the Lady Madeline was
   entombed
  Pacing through the apartment, heard sounds on the
   staircase
20   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337             8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
      The Fall of The House of Usher
      ―Have you not seen it?‖ pg 325
      Stormy night
      Agitated vapor, unnatural light
      7-8 days after entombing the Lady Madeleine
      A fierce storm raged outside, and neither
      Roderick nor his friend were able to sleep.



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                                     of 326
      TheofFall of The House 325,Usher
 Mad Trist Sir Lancelot Canning” pg
       Ethelred, hero
       Hermit
       Dragon
       Mace
       Walls of Gold and Silver, Shield falls
 The hero of the tale was Ethelred who must break into
  the dwelling of the hermit and slay the dragon who
  guards the palace of gold with a silver floor in order
  to capture the brass shield which hung upon its wall.
  As his friend read, it seemed that "...from some remote
  portion of the mansion, there came indistinctly to [their] ears
  what might have been, in its exact similarity of character, the
  echo...of the very sound[s] that Sir Lancelot had so
  particularly described."
 22       Mrs. Billet pages 310-337              8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     The Fall of The House of Usher
  Roderick roamed the halls in bitter grief

  Echo

  Unusual screaming or grating sound

  Roderick makes a mad man’s confession

  Gothic description of Lady Madeleine

  The house is destroyed, it falls into the tarn

23   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                 8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     What gothic elements are used when the Lady
     Madeline appears at the end of the story? pg 328
      Macabre (ghoulish) or violent plot details
           Blood upon her white robes
           Some bitter struggle
           Violent
           And now final death agonies

      Characters in physical or psychological torment
           Madeline and Roderick

      The presence of a supernatural or otherworldly
      element
           Superhuman energy
24     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                    8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     The Fall of The House of Usher
  **Central theme of ―The Fall of the House of Usher
           A person cut off from the world can fall prey to irrational
           fears and mental illness




25   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                          8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
        Poe’s Writing consists of:
 Fascinating duality
      Idealist, sensitivity

      Dark escapes from reality, writes of eerie
      thoughts, impulses, fears

      Very descriptive writes of fears, daring tales
      of wickedness, anguish, crime, and death


26      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337          8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
       Poe’s Poetry
  Alliteration- repetition of the same sounds ―Doubting, dreaming
     dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before

  Repetition

  Internal Rhyme- rhyming in a middle of a line

  External Rhyme- rhyming at the end of a line

  Onomatopoeia – when words imitates the sounds, ex. Buzz
     and Murmur Line 13 ―And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of
     each purple curtain‖

  The tone of the poem was created using depressing symbols,
     topics, and themes, writer’s attitude
       Mrs. Billet pages 310-337
27                                                  8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
        The Raven
 Assonance-resemblance of sound, especially of the vowel sounds in
     words, as in: “that dolphin-torn
        An example of assonance is "… the rare and radiant maiden
          whom the angels named Lenore."

 Consonance characterized by the repetition of two or more
     consonants using different vowels, for example, the "i" and "a"
     followed by the "tter" sound in "pitter patter."
     It repeats the consonant sounds but not vowel sounds




28      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                        8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     The Raven - 2 Elements
1. A man grieves for his lost love, Lenore.
  A mysterious talking raven appears at the speaker’s door,
  prompting him to question the bird about Lenore.
  The raven responds to each question—including the
  question of whether the speaker will ever see Lenore again—
  with the single word Nevermore, leaving the speaker broken and
  devoid of hope.

2. ***The poem explores how grief and loneliness can
  turn to madness. Poe depicts a mind going to pieces– and
  watching itself in the process.
What is the central theme of ―The Raven‖?
29
                             Isolation can lead to madness 8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337
       The Raven
  ***The following elements contribute to the poem's single
     effect
                       the repetition of words
                       the meter
                       the poet's sorrow


  The Raven is a narrative poem it tells a story




30     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                    8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
        The Raven
 ―Quoth the Raven 'nevermore'‖ (Raven: 48).


 The speaker is continually losing his mind as he mourns
     the death of his lover, Lenore.

 Poe was able to maintain a melancholy feeling
     throughout his poem using the refrain ―nevermore‖ and
     following some very strict, self-set, rules.

 Every stanza in the poem uses the same rhyme scheme, ABCBBB


 His rhythm is also very structured and unwavering.
31      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                 8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
        The Raven
 Poe also used many similes, metaphors, and examples of
     personification.

 Simile= A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are
     compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as

 ―That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.‖
     (Raven: 56) is an example of a simile that Poe used to compare the
     raven's reply to the narrators state of grief.




32      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                           8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
        The Raven
      Metaphors- One thing conceived as representing another; a
       symbol


      Line 105 ―And his eyes have all the seeming of a
       demon's that is dreaming,‖
       is an example of a metaphor used in ―The Raven‖ by
       Poe to compare the raven's eyes to a demon's;
       therefore, comparing the raven to a demon.



33      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                    8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
       The Raven
  Example of personification found in Poe's poem
     ―The Raven‖ ―Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore'‖ (Raven:
     48). Giving human qualities to animals or
     objects.

 Since birds cannot really talk, the raven
     was given a human characteristic of
     speech.

34     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337           8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     Gothic Effects of “The Raven”
  Supernatural= Includes the speaker‟s
   relationship to the Raven
  Otherworldly overtones in the Raven’s presence
   in the speaker’s chamber
  Macabre (Ghoulish) effect of the Raven’s
   repetition of the word ―nevermore‖
  The Psychological torment the speaker feels
   because of the Raven’s unwillingness to appease
   (pacify/calm down the narrator)

35   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337            8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
 Additional Vocabulary
   Dreary                Dismal, depressing, dull
      Lore                Lesson, wisdom
      Entreating                 Plead

      Implore           Beg

      Mien           Attitude

      Ebony Black
      Beguiling           Charming

      Discourse             Conversation

      Placid         Calm




36    Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                      8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     Raven Additional Vocabulary
                       Ointment
      Balm

                         Monster, Evil person
      Fiend


      Pallas          Goddess of Wisdom


      Bust Sculpture representing the upper part of a body


      Respite              Relief


      Quaff                 Drink

37   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                            8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
Bust of Pallas
(Goddess of Wisdom)




38   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337   8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
What does the speaker want the Raven to
tell him? Pg 333
  Line 89 Is there– balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me I
     implore—

  The speaker want the Raven to say whether there is ―balm in
     Gilead‖ (healing ointment made in Gilead a region of
     ancient Palestine)—in other words, whether is a prospect
     of relief from his grief.




39     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                     8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
In Line 12: When the speaker describes Lenore as
“nameless here for evermore,” what does he mean?


      Lenore is so special
          that she is nameless in
          the speaker‟s heart

 40   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337          8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
When the poet in “The Raven” thinks that Lenore may be at
his door, what are his feelings?


      Hope and doubt




 41   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337           8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
Pg 334 1. This poem has been popular for more
          than one hundred years. Explain why
          you think the poem does or does not
          merit this continued attention.
 This poem has been popular for more than one
 hundred years because of it sound effects and
 rhythm, as well as its fantastic elements. The
 poem also has an enigmatic (mysterious) feeling
 because of the raven’s personification and the
 longing for Lenore.

 42   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337       8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
Pg 334     2. Why is the speaker reading at the
               beginning of the poem?
  The speaker is reading at the beginning of the
   poem in order to forget his sadness about the
   death of his lover, Lenore.




43   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337       8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
334            2b. What is his emotional state as
                   the poem begins?
  The speaker’s emotional state at the
     beginning of the poem is sad, tired, and
     abstracted (distant).




44    Mrs. Billet pages 310-337        8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
334            3. With what emotion does the
                  speaker first greet the Raven?
      The speaker is at first amused by
          the Raven, but then changes.




45    Mrs. Billet pages 310-337        8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
334 3b. During the course of the poem, how does
         the speaker’s attitude toward the Raven
         change?
 During the course of the poem, the speaker’s
 attitude toward the Raven changes from
 amusement and amazement (marvel) that
 that raven can speak, and the speaker tries to
 understand its meaning; he begins to believe
 that the bird is a messenger from heaven;
 then he thinks it is evil; finally he becomes
 angry and orders the bird to leave.
46   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337       8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
334 3c. In what way is the word nevermore
            related to these emotional changes.
  The speaker grows increasingly agitated by
   the Raven‟s use of the word—because of
   the unvarying quality of it response, as
   well as because the speakers’ queries to the bird
   grow more and more important as the poem
   progresses.



 47   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337        8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
334 4. What does the speaker eventually
       order the Raven to do?
     The speaker eventually orders
         the Raven to leave.




48   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337   8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
Pg 334 4b. At the end of the poem, what does the
           speaker mean when he says the Raven
           “still is sitting” above the door?
 The Raven never left the chamber


 The creature (raven) disturbed the speaker’s mind that he
 now believes the Raven is still there, although actually it
 has departed




 49   Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
334 5. What is the relationship between the
       raven’s shadow and the speaker’s soul at
       the end of the poem?

      The effect of the effect of the Raven’s visit symbolizes by
       its shadow, has been to permanently darken the
       speaker‟s soul.




50      Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                    8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
334 5b. What does the Raven finally
        come to represent?
  The Raven finally comes to represent the
     speaker‟s permanent state of madness
     and despair.




51     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337       8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
       Website Sources
      http://www.studyworld.com/newsite/basementpapers/papers/st
       ack10_4.html

      http://www.poedecoder.com/essays/usher/

      http://www.bookstove.com/Classics/Literary-Analysis-of-the-
       Raven.34165

      http://www.netwurx.net/~krauklis/authorpoe.htm

      http://www.answers.com/topic/edgar-allan-poe


      http://www.PHSchool.com        Era-6404
52     Mrs. Billet pages 310-337                    8/29/2008 updated 9-2-09
     Websites Sources
      http://www.tqnyc.org/NYC040522/shortstories/Usher/h
         ouseofushermain.htm




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