* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Fall of the House of Usher

The Fall of the House of Usher

by Edgar Allan Poe

Madness Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year […] (1)

This is an appropriate setting given Usher’s overly-acute senses; he can’t handle bright lights or sounds, and so the story’s setting is dull and soundless.

Quote #2

…. with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium--the bitter lapse into everyday life--the hideous dropping off of the veil. (1)

The Usher estate is made to seem as though it is its own isolated world, different and separate from normal reality.

Quote #3

His voice varied rapidly from a tremulous indecision (when the animal spirits seemed utterly in abeyance) to that species of energetic concision--that abrupt, weighty, unhurried, and hollow-sounding enunciation--that leaden, self- balanced and perfectly modulated guttural utterance, which may be observed in the lost drunkard, or the irreclaimable eater of opium, during the periods of his most intense excitement. (9)

This is the second time the narrator has used the simile of an opium addict to describe Usher or the mood the mansion yields. There is a sense of mad delirium expressed here.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement