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The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis


What it do baby? This week we bringin down da house with The
Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe. My man. It’s a dull, dark, and soundless day up
at da House of Usher- where our nameless narrator just dropped in to see his back-when homeboy
Roderick Usher. Apparently ol’ Roddy been sick so he sent
da narrator a letter basically sayin: “Dear bruh, I’m feelin like shit. Get yo ass over here and help a brutha out. Don’t be a dick.” Now you’d think anybody would wanna chill
wit’ his boy up in his MANSION- but this crib is busted as hell- even got a small crack
runnin from da roof to the flo’. Just LOOKIN’ at this fugly shit make da
narrator feel like he got an opium hangover. Word is dat Roderick and his sistah Madeline
are the last survivin’ Ushers. and he don’t count. Anyway, the narrator rolls in to the spot,
peep game at Roderick and be like “Damn, son. You lookin way whiter than usual.” Roderick say ”Man I’m straight buggin,
yo. My sister Madeline’s got some bodyillness
and da doctors can’t do shit bout it. Not only dat, but this house is MESSIN wit
my mind, makin’ me all superstitious and too scurred to leave da crib.” So da narrator go in to full on bromode, and
starts paintin’ and readin’ wit him to get him to stop mopin’ around like a lil’
bitch. But nuthin’ can break Roddy from dat funk. Boy start flowin’ bout a king livin’ large
in a PHAT palace. But when some evil spirits start runnin up
on his crib hauntin the damn place, it go from swanky to straight janky. Soon Madeleine stops moving’ and Roderick
like “AWWW shit, she dead man!” Then fool start gettin’ all paranoid dat
a buncha doctors gonna drop in outta nowhere and study her body fo’ science. Yeah they will! Roderick trippin so hard dat he decide he
gonna stash her body in a vault fo’ two weeks befo he move her outta da house. So da narrator, bein da realest homie there
is, helps his boy carry his sister’s dead body and nail her ass in a coffin, and secure
it behind an iron door. Right befo’ he do, he peep Madeline’s
face and be like “Oh shit, this girl smilin! AND she got rosy cheeks!” Aw fuck it, just don’t look at her and keep
on keepin’ on.“ Over the next couple days Roderick mind slippin’
mo’ and mo’- he always lookin’ like he hearin’ noises and da narrator start
wonderin’ if he hiding something. A week after they stuffed her in da coffin,
Roddy come bustin’ through da narrator’s door losin’ his shit over some creepy glowin’
gas round da house. Da narrator like “Boy calm yo ass down. Dat’s just somethin’ dat happens.” Knowin he gotta get this crazy ass dude to
sleep, da narrator cracks open a book and starts reading bout a hard-ass dragonslayer
makin a dragon his bitch. Crazy thing is, tho, errytime a sound is described
in da book, Rod and da narrator hear it echoed in da house. Like when da knight busts in to da dragon’
lair, they hear “cracking and ripping” sounds somewhere in da house. Da hell?? Eventually Roderick completely break down
and start smilin’ and mutterin’ to himself like a real creep. Dude say he been hearin’ these noises fo’
days and it’s MADELINE who makin’ em… “we musta buried her alive man.” Then all da sudden Roddy like “BREAK YO’SELF
FOOL. SHE AT THE DO!” And sho’ nuff there Madeleine is, all bloodied
up from bustin out. Girl collapses on Roderick and they both drop
dead Roderick from fear, and her from ya know… gettin
BURIED ALIVE. Da narrator like “Uhhhh… Time for me to get my ass outta here” and
straight BOOKS it. As he haulin ass away from da house, he look
back and watch da whole place crumble to da ground. Errybody in da hood know my boy Poe like to
keep it dark. But mo’ than any other famous EAP jams,
Usher perhaps BEST representin’ da “gothic” style of lit dat define Poe’s flow. I mean dis story got nasty weather, a creepy
haunted mansion, some mystery sickness, hidden vaults, medieval decor, and da unnerving sense
dat some WHACKASS Thriller shit bout to go down. And you know what else makes my nuts shrivel
up? TWINS. CREEPY MAN! And apparently Poe feel me on dat one, cuz
there be doubling all up in this text. Not only are Roderick and his sistah Madeline
twins, but they both pale, skinny as hell, and sufferin’ from some shady illnesses
Roderick sick in da mind, while Madeline got da funk in her body. As da story go on, their roles start reversin. At first Madeleine wastin’ away all bedridden
wit’ no control over life. Roderick gotta be da man of da house. But after they put her ass in da vault, Roderick
start tweakin so hard dat HE da one who gotta give up control. Shit, he even need one his bruthas to read
him a damn story just so he won’t shit himself. Madeline, tho- dat girl ain’t playin. She sacks up and BUSTS outta dat coffin even
though it was NAILED DOWN AND sealed with an iron door. This DEAD girl got a superhuman will to LIVE-
ain’t dat some shit? And as if dat wasn’t real enough, she even
associated with dat hard-ass dragonslayer in dat story “Mad Trist.” While Madeline flexin’ her strength by fightin’
her way out of a stuffy ass coffin afta’ bein left in there for a WEEK, her brotha
Roddy- da man of da house- turns in to whiny lil’ bitch. Now dat title got some twin shit goin on too-
cuz it got two meanings. On one hand it talkin bout da house dat literally
crumble to shit by da end. But on da other hand, it’s referring to
da Usher family bloodline. Cuz afta’ Roddy and Madeline’s bodies
get stacked, there ain’t no mo’ Ushers on da family tree to carry on da name. When it feelin’ like its only a matter of
time befo’ yo life and yo legacy gonna get fucked, it’s hard not to feel like you trapped
in a bunk ass situation. Matta’ fact, da house’s cramped, claustrophobic
rooms further dem themes of confinement, isolation, and loneliness. And to make matters worse, da house cause
errybody in there go cray in
the dome and gear up for a 5150- With da whole world closin in round him, Roderick
feelin’ mad alone. So he reach out to da narrator to help a brutha
out. Cuz when da shit gonna hit da fan, it’s
way easier to cope when you got one of yo homeboys at yo back. The epigraph reppin dat same idea: Yo thanks for watching, man! Peace!

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100 thoughts on “The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis

  1. Rich white dude buries his damn sister ALIVE and doesn't go to jail. White people!! Doc Sweets called this kind of thing '…..WHAT I CALL, CRIMIN' WHILE WHITE…' -Dr. Sparky Sweets

  2. A lot of EAP's short stories sound like patients in an insane asylum telling the stories of how they got there. Keep doing Poe shorts!

  3. omg this story (sorry never read the book) is so similar from the plot of Resident Evil: Code veronica
    THIS IS AWESOME!
    Good job capcom

  4. how about the masque of the red death. that one has always stuck with me ever since my junior year of high school. I wanna hear some thug notes on this

  5. An argument can be made that there's also symbolism with the narrator himself, we never know his name, and despite all the shit that happens in the house he sticks by the Ushers, because it's their story, and like the reader, he'll stick by in order to see this story through, in the second that both of them die, the story of the Ushers is over, their house fell and he has no more reason to stick by, just like the reader has no more reason to stick by in the house

  6. Love this sm!!!!!!!!!! It would be interesting to see your interpretation of naked lunch by William s burroughs :0)

  7. Wait so she was really buried alive and broke out? I thought she really was dead and her after presence was just hallucinations from Roderick…

  8. What I got out of the end was, the family was the house and the house was the family. The were sick because the house was rotten and the house collapsed when they died.

  9. This is great! This would be fun to use in a high school English classroom (with some editing of course 🙂 ) because it may appeal to teens and help them learn about the classics in a fun way.

  10. Hearing this man speak the words from the book made me perk up. Intelligence is a super attractive trait in a man. 🙂

  11. Could you do a related story by ray Bradbury? It’s in the book “the illustrated man”, the story is called Usher II and it’s amazing

  12. It appears that the roderick familly is incest because they are no other people from the outside who came to marry someone in the family

  13. Imma gonna make a suggestion. Since the Thug Notes team has been covering some of Poe's better known works, it'd be interesting to hear their take on the more… ehhh…. "problematic"… works in the Poe canon.

    Such as, picking some titles completely at random, "The Gold-Bug", "How to Write a Blackwood Article/A Predicament" and "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket".

    No reason…

  14. plz can you help to select all figures of speech in this part of the story
    Upon my entrance, Usher arose from a sofa on which he had been lying at full length, and greeted me with a vivacious warmth which had much in it, I at first thought, of an overdone cordiality — of the constrained effort of the ennuyé man of the world. A glance, however, at his countenance, convinced me of his perfect sincerity. We sat down; and for some moments, while he spoke not, I gazed upon him with a feeling half of pity, half of awe. Surely, man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher! It was with difficulty that I could bring myself to admit the identity of the wan being before me with the companion of my early boyhood. Yet the character of his face had been at all times remarkable. A cadaverousness of complexion; an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison; lips somewhat thin and very pallid, but of a surpassingly beautiful curve; a nose of a delicate Hebrew model, but with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar formations; a finely moulded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence, of a want of moral energy; hair of a more than web-like softness and tenuity; these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be forgotten. And now in the mere exaggeration of the prevailing character of these features, and of the expression they were wont to convey, lay so much of change that I doubted to whom I spoke. The now ghastly pallor of the skin, and the now miraculous lustre of the eye, above all things startled and even awed me. The silken hair, too, had been suffered to grow all unheeded, and as, in its wild gossamer texture, it floated rather than fell about the face, I could not, even with effort, connect its Arabesque expression with any idea of simple humanity.

  15. Could you do "Young Goodman Brown?" Or maybe "The Enormous Radio" (the short story not the whole anthology named after it lol)

  16. This story gets INTO YOUR HEAD. The scariest thing isn't the dead sister. It isn't the noises in the night. It isn't even the way the house looks.

    It's the clever trick Poe uses to make you think you have the same exact disease as the Usher guy.
    If you've read the book, you'll know what I mean.

    I desperately tried to make some noise while I read it. 😥😧

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