Kakos' 4th Hour

Reactions and comments from my fourth hour Honors American Literature class.


My favorite place in the world to be is underwater. My second favorite place is the front of a classroom.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Dark and Creepy Ride into Poe's Mind...

Please ask 1-3 authentic discussion questions regarding Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher." Probe deeply inside Poe's twisted mind...question the text's symbols, mood, themes, characters, and secrets. Be sure to read the other posts before asking your question in order to avoid repeating others' observations. Remember that only half of the class is required to post these questions, but the rest of the class is welcome to do so as well.

Your questions are due by 9 pm tonight (Monday, November 28).


Blogger JacobW said...

Why does the story Mad Trist of Sir Launcelot seem to unleash Madeline Usher? Why does the house make the story real? What does this symbolize?

3:19 PM  
Blogger JeffN said...

Why is Usher so reluctant to allow the doctors to examine his sister's corpse? Usher did nothing but care for his sister during life; why does she instill such fear, dread, and distress in Usher after her death?

3:36 PM  
Blogger Cayleigh B said...

Why does Madeline Usher get buried alive in the tomb in the first place; did they not truly believe that she was dead? And, when she comes to kill her brother, is she really alive or is she a ghost?

5:07 PM  
Blogger stacey said...

If Roderick and the narrator had been friends since childhood, why is just now learning of Madeline? Maybe they aren't as close as he thought.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Katy L said...

What did the mansion's atmosphere and mood reveal about the theme of the novel? Also at the end of the story what is the significance of what occurs to the House of Usher?

7:37 PM  
Blogger KerryL said...

What do you think the title has to do with the rest of the book? Is there any background meaning?

What does madeline's character represent and why does she kill her brother?

Is there a hidden meaning in the theme of The Fall of the House of Usher as a whole? What is the main point Poe is trying to get across to his readers?

8:27 PM  
Blogger Raychel H said...

If Usher truly did care for his sister before her death, then why does she come back from the dead to kill him?

8:27 PM  
Blogger DanielC said...

How does setting apply to the story?

Is the mansion completely encircled by water, like a moat?

Is there any connection with the house being seperated by the water and ultimately sliding into it with the madness of Usher?

10:00 PM  
Blogger AleF said...

In the time this story was set in, it was a common practice to use cadavers to educate medical students. This is still common practice today, but "vivisection" (cutting into humans, i.e., surgery) in those times was viewed as tainted and disrespectful at best, vile and horrible at worst. Naturally, Roderick doesn't want to expose his sister to such barbarities, and if she died in the care of doctors they might desecrate her body in such a way. The word "house" can mean a literal dwelling or a family line, so "The Fall of the House of Usher" refers both to the literal fall of the house and to the ending of the Usher family line, since Roderick and Madeline were the last of the Ushers and both are now dead.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Robn said...

How do Poe's psychologic techniques (confusion, ambiguity, darkness) related to the romantic techniques we learned about earlier?

That is, what do romanticism and dark romanticism both stem from?

9:47 AM  

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