Thursday, October 1, 2015

Edgar Allan Poe - The Fall of the House of Usher - Discussion

I'm quite behind with this final Gothic September read-a-long discussion. The month got away from me.

So, I finished reading last night and I was struck by how much I confused this story with some other story...I'm not even sure which. It's my pesky Vincent Price obsession again. I think he had starred in another movie that I thought was this, besides starring in the actual production of the Fall of the House of Usher film, which I watched last night as well.

I enjoyed this story, but I have to admit that I actually liked Ligeia best out of all three stories read for this event. Poe is a genius, as always, evoking a gloomy and Gothic atmosphere and a sense of something hidden beneath the surface of what shows in the daylight.

In the book version, the narrator is an old friend of Usher's from school and he visits to find his old friend in a not so healthy state, along with his twin sister. In the movie version, the narrator (or main character) is an acquaintance of Madeline, Usher's sister. He is intent on taking her from the house with the big crack in the facade (weird), saving her from her fate. It seems that the Ushers' health is directly tied to the health of the house, and as the house decays, so do they. At least, that was my observation.

***********Spoiler Alert**************

So, in both versions, things escalate and someone is buried alive (you can probably guess who). In the book version, entirely by accident. In the movie, not so much. In both cases, revenge ensues and at end, we are treated to the "Fall of the House of Usher"...hence the name. 

I have really enjoyed reading these Poe tales and I plan to continue sharing some of his works during Season of the Witch this month. I hope you will visit and perhaps join us for The Bell Witch read-a-long.

I'm also hosting a read-a-long of Stephen King's Salem's Lot at my Stephen King challenge blog. Feel free to join in.

And don't forget about the FrightFall Read-a-Thon coming up next week!

October is here!!!

Also read for (and movie watched for)...

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  1. Ligeia's the one I didn't read. I think I may have to blame Poe for my fear of being buried alive.

    I'm not sure that she got buried "on accident." I think the brother knew what he was doing all along.

    Here's my link, although you already visited.


    1. It was such a contrast between the story and the film. In the story, Usher seems more a victim, but in the film, he is more devious. I think that's why I looked at the story version as him burying her "accidentally," meaning not realizing she was not dead. In the movie, it's clear he knew she was alive, but buried her anyway. Such is the sensationalism of film, I guess. lol

  2. I think I liked "Ligeia" the best too. Poe does deranged narrators so well! And although Madeline is very important in this story, she's weirdly absent from it as well. I thought it was kind of odd that Usher tell his friend that Madeline is ill too, but they kind of ignore her. I have more thoughts (but not many):

    Thanks for hosting, Michelle! I'm not sure if I'll join you for FrightFall. My reading has been taking a non-fiction-y turn. And I'm behind on writing...

    1. You're welcome! I was just so glad to have people join me. :)

      That's okay about FrightFall. I understand.

      Do you do NaNoWriMo? I'm thinking of doing it and hosting Sit Down And Write at my writing blog. Let me know if you are.

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