Webster describes setting as ”the way to describe the place, time, and environment in a story or play. ” But, setting can do more then that as well. Setting can create atmosphere in a story. The writer can use the setting to foreshadow events that are soon to come. It can also tell the reader what kinda of traits the characters show. Edgar Allen Poe did this three things with his story, ”The Fall of the House of Usher. ” Poe used his wording of the setting to place an atmosphere in the readers head. Usher’s house, the windows, the yard, all put a gloomy image in the readers mind and Poe is able to build off that to create a great story.Order now
His use of the words black, decayed, vacent help him to create the perfect atmosphere. The narrator states that the mansion had ”an atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven. ” It wasn’t clean, or beautiful, or something a reader would want to live in. It was a house that put them in a frightened mood and wondering why the house would be this way. Poe’s wording when describing the setting is what creates the effective atmosphere in the story. Another important way Poe uses setting is to foreshadow events in the story. An example of this is the mansion.
The narrator notices a small crack in the house. He defines this as a crack in the building, but also in the family. This foreshadows that something is coming along to make the house and the family ‘fall. ‘ Another way foreshadowing takes place in setting is the time of year. ”The Fall of the House of Usher” takes place in autumn. Autumn is used to symbolize that death is around the corner. This type of symbolism is also used on the night when Roderick’s mind is finally on its last string. There is a storm outside, which also symbolizes that something bad is going to happen.
In this story Poe used enough information to clue the reader in on what was going to happen, but not enough to give it all away. Character traits are also displayed through the setting. The narrator was affected by visiting the mansion and living in the gloomy atmosphere that Roderick had created through his books, art, and music. These things were all depressing and morbid, which matched the inside of him and his personality. Roderick played dirges on his guitar and painted images that the narrator described ”phantasmagoric”. One of the rooms in the mansion had windows that “feeble gleams of encrimsoned light… erved to render sufficiently distinct the more prominent objects around. ” The windows represented Roderick’s eyes and the light represented a sense of reality.
Many of these things in the setting show that Roderick is unstable, he loves obsessing over death, and was depressed. Poe does something in his writing that some writers do not. He uses all aspects of the setting. He creates a mood for the story. He tells what is about to come. He also tells the reader what the characters are like. The setting in ”The Fall of the House of Usher” held the story together and is the reason why the story is as well known as it is today.