Psychoanalysis Criticism: Poe’s, The Fall of the House of Usher
Psychoanalytic criticism offers a reader an intimate understanding through analysis of a literary piece aspects through psychoanalytical theory. In essence, through psychoanalytical criticism, the reader can go beyond the face value of the literary piece – the deep structure of the text. Psychoanalytical criticism helps the reader study the psyche in a literary piece and discerning the meanings. This is made possible by focusing on the author or the characters in the literary piece by looking into the complex mechanisms of their minds. However, literary peace must as well have some psychoanalytical elements. One such piece is the Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, The Fall of the House of Usher. The literary piece provides a reader with the main character, Roderick Usher, whose behavior can be analyzed according to psychoanalytical theories of psyche.
Poe is a renowned controversial and misunderstood literary authors in America and has been so for a very long time. He is known for investing the detective-fiction genre as well as captivating but mysterious tales. Besides, Poe is considered one of the contributing authors to the science fiction genre. Because of all these, Poe remains the most controversial but famous writers. As such his works, like The Fall of the House of Usher and Ligeia has attracted various literary critics and well as analysists. The Poe’s story, The Fall of The House of Usher, mainly relies on symbolism and suspense. These, Poe uses to create a haunting environment which creates fear in the readers’ mind. The story which majorly about loves turning to lust between brother and sister is very rich in its descriptive aspects. According to Nadal, the story relies heavily on Freud’s psychoanalysis (181). The author, Poe, uses this analysis to create a dark and somber mansion, which is mainly intertwined with the people living in it. The climax of the story is when the palace collapses with all the remains of the inhabitants – Usher and Madeline, Usher’s sister. In essence, the story is a symbolism of the moral decay of a family and about the collapse of a bloodline which has been tainted by incest. The description of the house in a way helps the reader relate to the Usher’s family and bloodline; what Poe describes as the “direct line of descent” (4).