6 Rhetorical Devices

6 Rhetorical Devices
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The Fall of The House of Usher

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  • Some of the important Gothic elements in this passage are the bad weather, the sleepy landscape, and the uncomfortable feeling.
  • Imagery - "During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone... images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows." This quote uses imagery to describe the dark and dreary setting of the weather and house in the story. 
  • Metaphor - "The vacant and eye-like windows." This instance of personification relates to the primary metaphor of the story. This metaphor is that the house and the family are synonymous to one another. The windows are vacant just how Roderick's eyes are.
  • The metaphor of inanimate objects, such as a house, being representative of characters is often seen in Gothic literature.
  • Simile - "There was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters." This instance of simile is used aid to the description of how the house was decimated. It pushes the reader to imagine just how loud the noise was.
  • Allusion - "We pored together over such works as the Vervet et Chartreuse of Gresset... and the City of the Sun of Campanella."This  instance of allusion is used to connect the plot to the real world.
  • Diction - Poe's use of diction builds a sense of oncoming horror and suspense in the reader. He does this through vivid imagery describing the house as "dull", "oppressive" ,  and "dreary." There is a well established sense of gloomy dread throughout the story.
  • Hyperbole - " I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium --the bitter lapse into everyday life --the hideous dropping off of the veil.
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