24 Hour Customer Service:

Call for a quote line:

Romantic Era and The Fall of the House of Usher Research Projects

The Romantic Era has several great works of literature such as Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. Paper Masters has literature writers that will tie Poe's work in The Fall of the House of Usher to the themes of the Romantic Era.

The Fall of the House of Usher recounts the story of Roderick and Madeline Usher. Brother and sister both suffer from mental illness brought on by intermarriage in the family. As the story opens, Madeline is deteriorating rapidly which depresses Roderick beyond his normal apathetic existence produced by his mere living in the family home.  He is convinced that the Usher mansion directs his behavior and his eventual destiny. Edgar Allen Poe uses the story of the Usher family to symbolize the fall of the romantic era in society in the following ways:

  • The House itself
  • The personality of Roderick and Madeline Usher
  • The rise of the recognition of mental illness in the romantic era
  • Roderick's art as a metaphor
Romantic Era and Fall of the House of Usher

The romantic era is symbolized in the detail of the house. Poe begins his description,

...of excessive antiquity. The discoloration of ages had been great…No portion of the masonry had fallen; and there appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptation of parts and the crumbling condition of the individual stones… a barely perceptible fissure, which extended from the roof to the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the sullen waters of the tarn.

With the house falling apart, Poe is stating that the romantic era that encompasses society is also falling apart. This imaginary landscape mirrors human grief and the house weeps for the loss of innocence and romance.


Roderick and Madeline Usher are the only remaining members of the Usher clan.  When Madeline supposedly dies, Poe implies the closeness of brother and sister as twins, “a striking similitude between brother and sister....”  which is an important fact in revealing the unity of effect in this story.  The story mirrors other literary works just as the story itself is full of metaphors.  The twins mirror each other, the tarn mirrors the house, and the music and art of Roderick, mirrors the corruption in Roderick’s mind caused by the incest, “It was, perhaps the narrow limits to which he thus confined himself upon the guitar, which gave birth, in great measure, to the fantastic character of his performances”. The story is mirrored most in the lyrics of Roderick’s songs.  Poe also uses Roderick”s art as a metaphor to what is actually taking place in the story, just as Poe attempts to do with his own art.  “The Fall of the House of Usher”, while appearing to be a simple tale, is encoded with the message that for art to have any relevance in society it must be understandable.  Poe writes this story as a chain of mirrors to enforce his argument that everything is relevant to another.  Roderick’s incestuous relationship keeps him from producing art that can be enjoyed.  Madeline reflects her brother because he can only view himself through the incest, which is the foundation of his malady, “a constitutional and a family evil, and one for which he despaired to find a remedy”.  It is this malady that produces his flawed art which in turn echoes the story of the “House of Usher” itself.

Related Research Paper Topics

Metaphor - Metaphor research papers analyze how to use metaphors to convey ideas in Literature.

Ligeia - Romantic Era and Fall of the House of Usher illustrates how Edgar Allen Poe's novel is symbolic for the fall of the Romantic Era in Literature.

Barbauld's Poem The Rights of Woman - Romantic Era and Fall of the House of Usher illustrates how Edgar Allen Poe's novel is symbolic for the fall of the Romantic Era in Literature.

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch - Leopold von Sacher-Masoch research papers on the man that had the term masochism named after him for his short stories exhibiting his sexual fantasies and fetishes.

Endymion - Literature research papers on Endymion illustrate that Keats was one of the greatest of Romantic Poets.

Gothic Literature - Gothic Literature research papers examine the genre that generally contains some element of horror or the supernatural.

Ethan Frome - A research paper on Ethan Frome presents the opportunity to look at literature from the view of the early 20th Century Victorian Era Romantics.

Victorian Literature - Victorian Literature research papers discuss the literature created during the 19th Century Victorian Era.

Romanticism - Emotional expression was at the heart of authentic experience during the Romantic era.

William Wordsworth - William Wordsworth Research Paper looks at two of this poets works and also focuses on the emphasis of romanticism.

Edgar Allan Poe and Detective Fiction - In a Poe and detective fiction research paper, outline Poe’s contribution to the genre by presenting textual evidence, comparisons, and explanations of Poe’s unique detective-fiction formula.

Life of Edgar Allen Poe - Life of Edgar Allen Poe Research Papers discuss an order placed for an autobiography of the writer along with opinions about his writings and what made him select his themes.

The Cask of Amontillado - The Cask of Amontillado research papers analyze Edgar Allen Poe's short story about revenge.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allen Poe - Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym appears on the surface to be the retelling of one man's adventure at sea.

The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe - Research papers on The Pit and the Pendulum point out Edgar Allan Poe immediately grabs the reader's attention by announcing that he is sentenced to death.

The Tell-Tale Heart - Research papers on The Tell-Tale Heart focus on the sanity of the narrator.

The Raven - The Raven research papers discuss Edgar Allen Poe's use of suspense in his poems including the Raven.

The Black Cat - The Black Cat research papers discuss a short story by Edgar Allen Poe, and examines the Antisocial Personality Disorder of the narrator.

The Tell-Tale Heart and Madness - The Tell-Tale Heart and Madness is a common research paper topic for Edgar Allen Poe research.

Death in Literature - Death in Literature essays discuss the common theme of death in different works of literature.

Affects of Incest - Affects of Incest Research Papers look at how this form of child abuse causes different personality characteristcs in survivors of incest.