Unity and Division Themes

4 April 2015
A paper examining the theme of the balance of unity and division in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, Fall of the House of Usher.

This paper illustrating Poe’s doctrine that in order to have unity in nature, everything must have two equal yet separate divisions. It examines the opposing forces of human nature that each character possesses in the story and the characteristics of the house, narrator, Roderick and Madeline.
“The Fall of the House of Usher” illustrates Poe’s doctrine that in order to have unity in nature, everything must maintain two equal yet separate divisions. Without both parts operating on an equal basis simultaneously one will overflow into the other and the balance will be lost resulting in an outcome usually for the worse. This is especially true in human nature and today most people can refer to it as the Ying and the Yang. Every detail of this story, from the opening description of the dank tarn and the dark rooms of the house to the unearthly storm which accompanies Madeline’s return from the tomb helps convey the unbalancing of several characters.

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Poe uses the title “House of Usher” to refer to both the decaying of the physical structure as well as the decaying of Roderick’s house (his head/sanity). Poe demonstrates the divided self theory as it represents many opposing things: sane and insane, tangible and intangible, reality and illusion, life and death.

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Unity and Division Themes. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved December 5, 2019, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-unity-and-division-themes/
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