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Compare and Contrast: The Fall of The House of Usher and House Taken Over

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Words: 612 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

Words: 612|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 14, 2024

The works of literature often provide valuable insights into various aspects of human existence. This essay aims to compare and contrast two classic short stories, "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe and "House Taken Over" by Julio Cortázar. Although these stories were written in different time periods and cultural contexts, they share several key similarities. By examining the themes, settings, and characters of both stories, we can gain a deeper understanding of the human condition and the ways in which literature reflects it.

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Both "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "House Taken Over" explore the theme of the disintegration of the self. In Poe's story, this theme is evident through the mental and emotional breakdown of Roderick Usher. The house itself becomes a metaphor for his deteriorating psyche, mirroring his descent into madness. Similarly, in Cortázar's story, the characters experience a gradual loss of control over their lives as their house is invaded by an unknown force. As the story progresses, the characters are stripped of their identity and forced to confront their own powerlessness. Thus, both stories depict the fragility and vulnerability of the human psyche when faced with external and internal threats.

The setting of the stories also plays a significant role in highlighting the theme of the disintegration of the self. In "The Fall of the House of Usher," the decaying mansion serves as a physical manifestation of Roderick Usher's deteriorating mental state. The gloomy atmosphere and the crumbling walls contribute to the overall sense of decay and impending doom. Similarly, in "House Taken Over," the house itself becomes a symbol of the characters' loss of control. The invasion of their home represents the intrusion of the unknown and the subsequent erosion of their sense of security and self.

Both stories feature characters who are isolated and tormented by their own fears and anxieties. In "The Fall of the House of Usher," Roderick Usher is portrayed as a recluse, consumed by his own neuroses and haunted by the past. His sister, Madeline, is also a complex character, representing the suppressed desires and repressed emotions that eventually lead to their downfall. In "House Taken Over," the two siblings, Irene and the narrator, are similarly depicted as solitary figures living in self-imposed seclusion. Their fear of the unknown and their inability to confront the invading force reflects their own internal struggles.

Moreover, both stories feature characters who are unable to escape their predetermined fate. In "The Fall of the House of Usher," the ancestral curse that plagues the Usher family ultimately leads to their tragic demise. Similarly, in "House Taken Over," the characters are trapped in their own house, unable to resist or escape from the mysterious force that gradually takes over their lives. This sense of inevitable doom and powerlessness adds to the overall atmosphere of tension and suspense in both stories.

In conclusion, "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "House Taken Over" share several key similarities in terms of theme, setting, and characters. Both stories explore the disintegration of the self, the loss of control, and the inevitability of fate. Through their use of symbolism, atmosphere, and character development, Edgar Allan Poe and Julio Cortázar create narratives that delve into the depths of the human psyche and expose the fragile nature of our existence. By examining these similarities, we can gain a deeper understanding of the human condition and the ways in which literature reflects our fears and anxieties. Ultimately, these stories serve as a reminder of the universal truths that unite us all, regardless of time or cultural context.

Bibliography:

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Fall of the House of Usher." 1839.

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Cortázar, Julio. "House Taken Over." 1946.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Compare and Contrast: The Fall of the House of Usher and House Taken Over. (2024, Jun 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/compare-and-contrast-the-fall-of-the-house-of-usher-and-house-taken-over/
“Compare and Contrast: The Fall of the House of Usher and House Taken Over.” GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/compare-and-contrast-the-fall-of-the-house-of-usher-and-house-taken-over/
Compare and Contrast: The Fall of the House of Usher and House Taken Over. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/compare-and-contrast-the-fall-of-the-house-of-usher-and-house-taken-over/> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Compare and Contrast: The Fall of the House of Usher and House Taken Over [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 14 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/compare-and-contrast-the-fall-of-the-house-of-usher-and-house-taken-over/
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