edgar allan poe 1839. the gothic context of the tale the function of setting in the tale ...
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Edgar Allan Poe1839
The gothic context of the taleThe function of setting in the taleThe structural unity of the tale
Started in US about 1840Steeply pitched roofsPointed arch windowsElaborate trim around roof edgesHigh dormersLancet windows
Poes house of Usher looks more like a medieval castle or English cathedral in Gothic style
Emphasis on settingExterior: landscapeInterior: housesCastle-like architectureCharacters are brooding, secretiveBuried family secretsLong history of family tied to place
RoderickAn artist figure Nervous agitation Lives in dark upstairs apartment Cadaverous complexion want of moral energy
Rodericks mental condition is affected by his environmentHe was enchanted by certain superstitious impressions in regard to the dwelling which he tenanted . . . An effect which the physique of the gray walls and turrets, and of the dim tarn into which they all looked down, had, at length, brought about upon the morale of his existence.
Here, physique refers to something physicalAnd morale refers to something mental Roderick is all mind in a weak bodyHe represents in one way the life of the isolated artistPaintingsReadingGuitar playing
MadeleineIllness has debilitated herAll descriptions focus on the bodygradual wasting away of the person Roderick and the narrator screw down the lid of her coffin She returns from the tomb to reclaim her twin brother, her doublethe huge antique panelsthrew back
Poe addresses the dual and conflicted nature of the SelfMind and body are at war with each other in each of usWe try to repress one side and live without itBut we cannot achieve a harmonious existence in this way
The house of Usher has two meaningsThe physical dwellingThe family line, or lineagethe entire family lay in the direct line of descent
The house is also a type of character in the storyLike the family, it is of an excessive antiquity The landscape is overgrown and raggedOn the front down the middle is a barely perceptible fissure going in a zigzag direction
Atmosphere: The climate or feeling in a literary work. The choice of setting, objects, details, images, and words all contribute towards creating a specific mood and atmosphere. For example, an author may create an atmosphere of mystery around a character or setting.
Tone: The authors attitude, stated or implied, toward a subject. Some possible attitudes are pessimism, optimism, earnestness, seriousness, bitterness, humorous, and joyful. An authors tone can be revealed through choice of words (diction) and details.
inflammatory morose mocking disappointed shocking sympathetic irreverent sad dramatic compassionate disdainful passionate contemptuous melancholic restrained urgent caustic depressing impartial serious biting mournful objective ominous cynical poignant apprehensive skeptical somber factual foreboding wry
Turn to page 160 in your textbook and re-read the first two paragraphs of the short story, paying special attention to the tone.Write two paragraphs on how Poes diction and tone in the exposition create a certain type of atmosphere and mood.Be sure to include at least two specific quotations that illustrate your thesis
Your 1st Paragraph should discuss diction and tone.
Your 2nd Paragraph should discuss how Poes diction and tone establish the atmosphere and mood of the story.