How Does Usher View Insanity

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Poe’s fascination of the darker, innermost recesses of the human mind have exposed the fragility and vulnerability of the human condition through his creative exploration and portrayal of characters who are symbols of said recesses. For example: The character Usher in “The Fall of the House of Usher” is the subject of a mental illness that causes insanity. Usher claims the illness is hereditary. It’s interesting how Usher views his own insanity. He claims that “[He] fear[s] that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR”. He believes that one day he will have to struggle with the fear that may or may not be entirely imaginary, and lose all mental reason.…show more content…
It’s also interesting how very different Usher views his insanity compared to the narrator in the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart.” The narrator has imagined that his house guest has a “eye of a vulture” which, for whatever reason, he believes is a threat to him. So, naturally, he resolves to kill the man. This is a true act of insanity in and of itself. What’s even more surprising, however, is how the narrator views his insanity. He believes that he’s not insane at all, stating: “How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily -- how calmly I can tell you the whole story”. He goes on to advocate throughout the whole story for his own lucidity, claiming that only a fully sane person would go through the steps that he took to kill the man. Poe uses these very different symbols to demonstrate the flaw in the human

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