We’ve related Roderick Usher to his estate and immediately saw how it reflects who he is as a person. However, his sister, Madeline Usher serves as another parallel to himself. As we read further down the story, we discover that the siblings are twins! Poe uses this relationship to express the two characters as one in the same. Madeline is weak from illness, reflecting the slow decay of her own brother’s mentality. I saw Roderick burying his sister as his release of his other half, as if he was trying to get rid of something he doesn’t want associated with him. Maybe an illness? A secret? The truth?! However, Madeline fighting her way out of the coffin shows that Roderick cannot possibly bury something so closely related to who he is. Twins are inseparable, connected, and with each other til the end. Poe shows us that as much as Roderick tried to dust his emotions under the rug, he is unable to really get rid of the mess. Madeline and Roderick suffered the same fate, which was death. They had to die not only from one’s extreme force, but the very emotional, dark, and confining space of their home.
This animated trailer, narrated by Sir Christopher Lee, really captures the story of The Fall of The House of Usher. The particular emphasis on the crack that runs through Madeline and Roderick in the portrait goes back to the idea of separation. Yet, by keeping the picture as one on the wall, despite nearly cracking apart, suggests that separation is not really possible. It’s the “twinning” process brought to light. As the trailer clip goes on, we see the house and the picture slowing falling apart. In that collapse, Madeline and Roderick do not escape and remain confined in the rubbles of their home.