Concept Of Unity And Effect In Poe

1007 words - 5 pages

Poe thought that it was very important to be able to read a book or a story until the end without stopping, due to the fact that it can be loose the effect that the whole story might cause on the reader; that is the reason why he preferred to write short stories and poems, because his main concern was to create a certain impression on the reader. For him, the unity is the main characteristic that the short stories can offer; and the effect should be the chief concern of: the plot, the scenery, the style, the descriptions, the characters and the structure of the story.

In the unity of effect the author has the possibility of having the reader under his own control throughout the story, and in order to reach a union with the reader he must decide what effect he wants to cause even before thinking about the events. And when he resolves what effect does he want to produce in the reader’s emotional response, he has to decide which is the best mode to attain that effect. Furthermore the writer has to resolve which is going to be the denouement in order to create the plot around it. Everything in the story has to be related to that purpose, which in The fall of the house of Usher is the mystery: the characters’ personality, the settings, the furniture, and even the smallest details partakes in that unity of effect; and throughout the novel Poe conducts the reader to the emotional state he prefers.

The fears of the mind are his main sources of inspiration for his stories, everything has a factor of strangeness and mystery, and he uses the characters’ psychology and madness in order to create a gothic atmosphere. This story focuses on the fear, which is the retained consciousness in a world that is dead, and the concern of life after death; the fear of death eventually causes death in the story. Furthermore the reader can find other themes in the story, such as the opposition between a mental illness and a physical illness, also the fact that the house may indeed be haunted or the house is haunted only in the imagination of Roderick and that is why he seems to have a madness attack or the reason why he has paranoia. Also, the reader can find in this story an isolated family which lives among supernatural elements, as well as siblings with very tight family ties because it seems that Roderick cannot live without Madeline and Madeline cannot live without her sibling. This isolation is enormous due to the fact that Roderick’s closest friend is the narrator and they have practically no relationship, because the narrator does not find out that Roderick has a sister until they are going to entomb her. The personality is another important theme, as regards to personality it seems that the main characters have a personality disorder probably caused by the solitude in the house where they live. Roderick and...

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