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The Fall of the House of Usher

The Fall of the House of Usher


by Edgar Allan Poe

The Narrator Timeline and Summary

  • The narrator approaches the house of Usher and finds it gloomy. He notes the fissure running down the middle of the house.
  • He explains that Roderick wrote him a letter asking him to come and help de-gloomify him.
  • He meets Roderick and is struck by his eerie appearance. He sees Madeline briefly.
  • He and Usher try to busy themselves with painting and music and art. The narrator describes some of Usher’s artistic creations.
  • When Usher says that Madeline has died, the narrator helps Usher put her in the underground vault. The narrator finds out that they were twins, and he notes that Madeline looks flushed even though she’s dead.
  • One dark and stormy night, the narrator has trouble sleeping. He and Usher try to pass the night away by reading. Everything he narrates from the book can be heard as sounds coming from the mansion. Usher declares that Madeline was alive when they put her in the tomb, and indeed she shows up at the door and falls on Usher, who dies of terror.
  • The narrator flees the premises and sees the House of Usher crack and sink into the tarn.