With the exception of “The Gold Bug” and “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” Poe’s settings are usually remote in time and space, enhancing the story’s mystery and other-worldliness. “The Fall of the House of Usher” has no definite setting except for the “singularly dreary tract of country” through which the narrator must travel to reach the House of Usher. Suits of armor and subterranean dungeons tend to suggest a European rather than an American locale, but these details were established trappings of the gothic genre. Typical gothic elements in the story include the Usher house, described as “this mansion of gloom” with its dark hallways and draperies, ebony black floors, “feeble gleams of encrimsoned light,” and its eerie burial vault. Complementing these elements are Madeline Usher’s mysterious malady, death, and burial, and her return from the grave, the latter heightened by the thunder and lightning of a violent storm, a gothic technique often adopted by modern films and stories dealing with the supernatural.

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