In this article, Walter Evans discusses the narrative style of Edgar Allan Poe and speaks about the peculiarities of such a short story as The Fall of the House of Usher. This novella occupies a distinctive place in the creative legacy of this writer, and it is included in many collections or anthologies. This literary work has always attracted a close attention of many literary critics who intend to study the literary elements and techniques used by Poe.
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On the whole, Walter Evans believes that this literary work does not comply with narrative principles advocated by Poe in many of his critical articles (Evans 137). Moreover, in the author’s opinion, Poe adopts a dramatically different narrative approach which was virtually unprecedented in the nineteenth century. Thus, the readers should consider this issue in order to assess this short story.
These are the main arguments that this scholar tries to elaborate in his discussion. In his critical works, this writer lays stress on the necessity to create the “preconceived effect” by inventing or combining the so-called “incidents” that enable the author to grasp the attention of a reader and produce a specific impression on the audience (Evans 138). In this case, the word incident is used to describe various elements of the narrative that help the writer to achieve his/her goals.
This writer believed that every literary element had to be subordinated to the main effect that the author tried to produce. This method was advocated by many writers in the nineteenth century. Poe applied this approach to many of his short stories. Yet, Walter Evans believes that Poe does not use this principle while writing The Fall of the House of Usher. The scholar describes this short story as “a series of vivid and superficially disjointed images” (Evans 140).
Apart from that, in Evans Walter’s view, the narrative elements do not play an important role in this short story. There are some important events that are critical for the development of the narrative, but Edgar Poe does not pay much attention to them. For instance, one can mention the alleged death of Lady Madeline (Evans 140). Furthermore, the readers know very little about the factors that contributed to the downfall of Roderick Usher. This is the major distinctions that the scholar identifies.
Overall, in this short story, Edgar Poe uses literary elements that help him create vivid imagery. In particular, one can speak about the use of metaphors that are necessary to create striking descriptions of the house in which the main character lives (Evans 143). These descriptions produce a strong impression on the readers who want to know why this house is depicted in this way. This is why this detail should be taken into account. Additionally, these literary devices are importa
This description help readers place themselves in the position of the story-teller. Overall, Walter Evans argues that The Fall of the House of Usher can be viewed as the example of a lyric short story in which the sensations of the protagonist are more important than different elements of the plot (Evans 144).
This issue should not be disregarded because it is vital for the evaluation of this short story. This approach was later adopted by many writers in the twentieth century. In particular, it is possible to mention such authors as Sherwood Anderson and James Joyce.
The author’s discussion shows that Edgar Poe could depart from the aesthetic principles which he discussed in his critical reviews. However, in this way, he was able to create innovative works of literature. These are the major points that the scholar makes in this article. One can argue that this article can be of great use to people who are interested in the works of Edgar Poe.
His literary legacy is still closely examined by many critics, and his narratives are still open to various interpretations. Furthermore, this source can help a reader understand different approaches to writing short stories. So, this information can be useful for analyzing various narratives created by other writers. More importantly, the source can help readers better appreciate fiction. These are some of the main benefits that can be distinguished.
This is why this article can be of great interest to students or even teachers. Certainly, the reading of this source may require some background knowledge. For example, one should learn more about the works of Edgar Poe and his views on literature and story-telling. Additionally, students may read various short stories written by this author. In this way, one can better understand the arguments that Walter Evans makes.
This is one of the limitations that should be considered. However, this article contains an in-depth and thought-provoking analysis of Poe’s short story, and it can show how one can examine a work of literature, especially the techniques used by the authors. This is why it should not be overlooked by the readers.
Evans, Walter. “The Fall of the House of Usher” and Poe’s Theory of the Tale.” Studies in Short Fiction 14.2 (1977): 137-144. ProQuest. Web.