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Roderick Usher

As one of the two surviving members of the Usher family in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Roderick is one of Poe’s character doubles, or doppelgangers. Roderick is intellectual and bookish, and his twin sister, Madeline, is ill and bedridden. Roderick’s inability to distinguish fantasy from reality resembles his sister’s physical weakness. Poe uses these characters to explore the philosophical mystery of the relationship between mind and body. With these twins, Poe imagines what would happen if the connection between mind and body were severed and assigned to separate people. The twin imagery and the incestuous history of the Usher line establish that Roderick is actually inseparable from his sister. Although mind and body are separated, they remain dependent on each other for survival. This interdependence causes a chain reaction when one of the elements suffers a breakdown. Madeline’s physical death coincides with the collapse of both Roderick’s sanity and the Ushers’ mansion.

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Bacon

by Hookshot8, March 14, 2014

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10 out of 18 people found this helpful

THANK YOU!

by kttheharrypotterfan, September 17, 2014

This makes so much sense, I would have missed out on these important facts if I had just relied on what I had read. THANK YOU!!!!

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Masque of the Red Death

by anon_2223125324, November 03, 2014

This helped me so much and I did not realize the rooms symbolized the stages of the life from what I just overall really insightful.

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