Sample English Essays on ‘Araby’ and Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’


Critical analysis into Joyce’s ‘Araby’ and Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ through distinct theoretical frameworks expresses various literary skills. The approaches include the narrative, conceptual framework, and Poe’s literary theory. Narratology, as used in Araby, constitutes actions representing narratives compared to literary, social, political, and historical contexts. Joyce’s presentation develops a precise use of technique and observation to present factors affecting society like in her collection ‘Dubliners’ (Rokeya and Zunayet 142). The theoretical framework in narratology includes the narrative, narrator, and point of view. Thus, ‘Araby’ by Joyce strives to deliver various distinct messages through heterodiegetic narration.

Analysis into one of the most recognized short story writers, Edgar Allan Poe, and into the aesthetic theory he created around the short story highlights concepts of the literary theory. The literary theory, as Boccio (56) explains, focuses on classifying art as both author and critic. The theory bases its argument on the approach that art’s effect can only remain derived from the perceiver’s definition and impact. Literary composition., thus, focuses on conveying distinct effects among perceivers by ensuring core properties remained aligned with the goal. The literary theory also highlights that Poe strives to establish single and unique impacts through his poetry like his work ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ (Boccio 62). The genre also plays an active part in the literary theory, as expressed by Poe in his work. Conveying a single effect throughout the events of a tale either directly or indirectly helps to offer proper identification of genre. Poe explains, through ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ that the initial sentence of a short story represents the initial effect and should maintain consistency throughout the story to maintain relevance. In-depth analysis of Joyce’s ‘Araby’ and Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ can offer insight on the role of theories like narratology and the literary theory.

  1. Theoretical Framework

Narratology in ‘Araby’

A narrative represents a text telling a story through relative sets of events. The two essential aspects comprising a narrative represent the test and the story. The story represents a form of integration of different events adding to an existing chronological structure (Spurr 3). Thus, the narrative achieves the connection of events in a decorated function. The narrator is the other concept of narratology. The storyteller remains one of the essential components of the narrative. Narrators hold control to perceived response through story-telling while standing between the reader and the story. The narrative level among various narrators also impacts their preferences in story type. Rokeya and Zunayet (142) note that an extradiegetic narrator has excellent story-telling skills, while the intradiegetic narrator has second-degree skills. The narrator can also prove covert or overt through distinct degrees of perceptibility. The point of view in the narrative theory represents the established perceptions concerning characters, events, settings, and actions in the narrative, as expressed by the narrator to the reader (Spurr 3). Three distinct points of view used by a narrator include the omniscient point of view, camera point of view, and limited point of view.

The omniscient point of view represents the effective view presented by the narrator through seamless movement throughout different characters’ minds. In such a case, the narrator has the responsibility of expressing the characters’ thoughts, actions, and emotions (Rokeya and Zunayet 143). The limited point of view includes the representation of using the character’s eyes to experience the ‘invisible witness.’ The narrator, thus, remains limited to the thoughts, emotions, and experiences of one character. The camera point of view denies any form of access to the characters’ minds through its restriction to express readers’ knowledge.

   Point of View and Narrator in ‘Araby’

The narrator first expresses omniscience through the opening paragraphs in ‘Araby’ by highlighting the existent features vividly for the reader. The uninhabited house standing at the bling end away from neighbors, the only apple tree, and a few bushes explain the atmosphere in the environment (Spurr 4). Concepts like self-absorption and decay remain clear through the narrators’ expressions concerning the disillusionment following the boy and his romantic love and vicious adult lives. The notion of letting the boys free also shows a tendency to lack any form of freedom. The presentation of the deadening environment and atmosphere offers the reader a vivid image painted by the narrator, who assumes unlimited authority and knowledge in the context.

The narrator shifts to a homodiegetic nature through the preceding context by highlighting concepts such as ‘we’ that signify various references. The context may refer to the boy, and his friends playing in the cold air or to the priest found dead in his drawing-room. Rokeya and Zunayet (142) note that readers, thus, remain involved through the narrator’s simple childhood on the priest during his last moments at the drawing-room in the back. The readers also comprehend various perceptions concerning limited points of view, especially through the boy, as expressed by the narrator. The limited point of view concerning the boy helps the readers to see concepts clear to his eyes, feel his emotions, and experience his endeavors (Spurr 3). The boy’s simplicity and the crush he has on Mangan’s sister help to express some of his delicate feelings expressed through his viewpoint. The expression that the boy gives as the girl moves her dress with a focus on the soft rope hanging around her hair paint an image of sentimental emotions that the reader can comprehend and integrate by analyzing the limited point of view expressed in the theory.

The first person narrative also emerges after the first paragraphs, where the narrator shifts to represent a character expressing his personal experience. The homodiegetic narrative represents the concept expressed in ‘Araby,’ where the narrator can also represent an acting character (Spurr 4). The narrative situation includes an autobiographical concept representing past experiences as expressed and described by the narrator. The text also offers signal words to the reader to promote the experience of ‘we’ in the contexts through signal words like ‘we ran,’ ‘we played,’ and ‘our house.’ Thus, the narrator manages to engage the reader in a collective form where the activities remain participatory among all parties involves shifting attention to the plural first person instead of the single individual.

The narrative also uses focalization to restrict and select various narrative data from using a person’s point of view. The approach foregoes the focalization of the agent and the creation of a critical perspective from the focal point. ‘Araby’ uses three types of focalization that include zero, internal, and external focalization. Rokeya and Zunayet (141) note that the opening paragraph of the study, for instance, uses zero or external focalization. The narrator’s description of the North Richmond Street, for instance, explains the image as through the eyes of a camera or looking at a photograph. James Joyce also uses internal focalization to explain the perception of various characters (Spurr 3). The focalization of the boy, for instance, highlights his attraction to the girl through expressing his perceptions and thoughts. Focalization on appearance also remains evident through the girl’s pretty dress with her hair clip moving side to side as imagined by the boy.


Literary Theory in ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’

Edgar Allan Poe represents one of the most significant figures in the U.S. short story literature. Poe’s literacy theory focuses on poetic genres, prose, and effect originating from readers concerning various works of art. Analysis of topics from the writer’s reviews like ‘The Poetic principle,’ ‘The Philosophy of Composition,’ or ‘Twice-Told Tales.’ Poe, for instance, insists that the effect of any literature to the reader represents the main form of the decision concerning specific art or work instead of the time the form of art might take in impressing sustained effort in implementing impression (Weisheng 292). Through the approach, Poe tries to explain that the effect received from the perceiver concerning a form of art remains greater than the composition or size. Weisheng (294) explains; thus, literature compositions have a responsibility to constitute around core preferences and traits containing al essential properties promoting the conveyance of the targeted effect. All critical essays developed by Poe strived to achieve a single or unique effect as the main accomplishment and attainment.

The use of due length in Poe’s essay, for instance, offers readers an effective prose narrative that remains short and comprehensive. Due length helps Poe, in his studies, to develop effective characterization and composition deeply focused on persuasion from the lack of reputation and increased purpose from the vivid composition (Zupan 9). Even though short compositions may create reduced momentum through lack of purpose repetition, too long compositions, on the other hand, derive themselves from totality since they exceed single sittings. Thus, the effect may remain clearer in shorter stories than in long ones. Poe, however, promotes impression unity by using effective length on his stories capturing all the strongest effects from the recognition of the due length principle.

Zupan (14) explains that Poe also integrates his creative process in constructing the effect by realizing its connection to the novelty and peculiarity following incident or tone. The ‘Twice-Told Tales’, for instance, begin with originality to express his first focus point. The author takes on a mathematical approach in tackling poems by viewing the art-creation process as a problem requiring a precise and vivid solution. The reliance on precise consequence adopted by Poe helps to leave no room promoting poetic coincidence or intuition throughout the creation process of the art. Promoted focus on the intended purpose and focal point of composition, thus, promotes a strong effect in studies (Boccio 63). The effect also requires to remain evident throughout the tale by its conveyance through every action, word, and event in the tale. The initial and final sentences of the literature analysis, thus, requires to send a uniform effect. ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ for instance, develops the effect of a gothic and horrific scene from the beginning to the end to promote similar effects throughout the narrative.

Poe also insists on satisfying the ‘poetic sentiment’ as the sole purpose of poetry (Boccio 63). The author recognizes that the sentiments may include excitements or pleasurable elevations experienced through spirituality among writers, narrators, and readers. The ‘poetic sentiment’ driven across ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ is one, including sadness, pain, and horrifying images (Zupan 7). The oppressive and grim setting also contributes to the singular effect expressed even further through the death of Madeline that even promotes more gloomy expressions from Usher. The entire literature work focuses on expressing an oppressive, grim, and gloomy environment, which it achieves through every step of the passage by focusing on the main effect.

Boccio (68) explains that Poe uses stylish devices to best help with the construction of the singular effect. The narrator’s journey back to his home as a boy represents a form of apostrophe since the narrator adopts the first character despite his lack of presence in the situation. Cataphora also expresses Usher’s sadness upon the death of Madeline that causes him to remain deeply gloomy to emphasize the central effect in the narrative (Weisheng 294). The integration of stylistic devices and the effects in Poe’s work, thus, helps in the production of continuous novel effects. The stylist devices, however, focus on composition and in identifying an effective atmosphere for the composition while the effects focus on impacting the thoughts and emotions of the readers. The impression of the literature work, thus, derives from the composition, effects, and stylish devices.

The unity of impression or effect represents the unblemished perception concerning the composition of the reader. The effect arises from th lack of any form of influence with the main focus on the composition and its impact on the reader (Zupan 18). Unity through the atmosphere of the composition can also refer to and signify a unity of effect. Since the composition of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ remains consistent with the effect of gloominess, the atmosphere in the study can also represent the main effect of the analysis. The concept remains evident since the atmosphere originates from the integration of incidents, tone, and applicable artistic effects. Weisheng (294) comprehends that the intertwinement of various perspectives, thus, requires to remain clear to maintain intended impressions throughout the study. Hence, the atmosphere also represents a ‘unique effect’ through the analogous structure, signifying some form of pre-designed approach guiding the narrative from the beginning to the end.

Literary Classification

Poe uses the composition’s province and form to classify the characteristics of various compositions. The approach helps to explain that the domain in the composition helps to highlight its constitutes (Zupan 19). The writer, for instance, expresses beauty as the real province or domain in a poem expressing that the poem’s beauty remained not restricted by either truth or duty. ‘The Fall of The House of Usher’ represents one of Poe’s works that receives criticism from its increased focus on gothic effects without focus to truth or duty (Zupan 21). The author notes, however, that the beauty in his lies only on the purest and immediate manifestation from the reader’s perception of a literary work without any internal and external influences. Thus, Poe focuses on the province of his work while maintaining similar effects throughout the literature.

The strangeness and ambiguity expressed through the narrator’s descriptions in the study also highlight dramatic and appealing tension. Boccio (65) shares that the strangeness of the house’s effect on the narrator’s spirit, for instance, remains strong such that it maintains insufferable senses of gloom to the narrator despite the lack of evident reason for the emotions. The narrator’s pauses and thoughts concerning the exterior of the mansion also trigger thoughts in the mind of the reader concerning the narrator’s emotional and mental health. More ambiguity arises through the narrator’s over-reaction concerning the House and whether it’s haunted.

The language in the literacy also helps to offer proper classification as Poe uses a brooding and heavy language, especially through emotions concerning the House (Zupan 17). The language in itself helps the narrator to connect with the reader through sharing similar emotions of oppression and depression. Such heavy language lays an effective foundation for the deliverance of specific messages like the strong effect concerning the house and the impact it possesses on secluded inhabitants. The language also offers an in-depth analysis of Usher’s life and challenges offering vivid images that readers may use to relate with the narrative.

Circumscription of symmetry and space also enhance themes in the story by enhancing the story’s focus and structure (Zupan 21). Poe, for instance, comprehends that the circumscription of space remains effective to promote intended effects concerning incidents in literature. The place unity and concentration of attention offered by the circumscription of symmetry enclose the narrative to the set atmosphere. Weisheng (291) explains that Poe’s work expresses the concept through the concentration of the mood in the story by restricting the intended atmosphere and characters to the literary context. Developing an effective plan for working from start to finish also highlights classification in literary work. The elaboration of all plans and plots before the commencement of a study, as Poe notes, offers a systematic and mathematical approach in crafting the literary study (Zupan 19). The narrator of ‘The House of Usher’ integrates concepts like sensation and decadent aesthetic to offer effective emotional reactions and mental perceptions concerning both the internal and external features of the study. Characterization and setting through ‘The Fall of The House of Usher’ also express symbolism with the gothic genre. First, the clouds hanging low at the beginning of the study helps with characterizations of the mood.


           In-depth analysis of Joyce’s ‘Araby’ and Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ can offer insight on the role of theories like narratology and the literary theory. Narratology in ‘Araby,’ for instance, uses concepts like the narrator and the point of view to promote the development of intended effects among readers from narrators. The use of omniscient narrator and homodiegetic point of view in the study offers a dynamic approach providing a vivid and clear image for the reader regarding the narrative. Concepts like self-absorption, thus, remain highlighted by the narrator to show the story’s deadening environment and its lack of freedom. Analysis of Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ through the literary theory, on the other hand, offers insight on the effect of literature work as the main character shaping the significance of certain art. Due length, for instance, helps Poe to develop the appropriate length in the study, helping to keep the reader fixed on the initial uninterrupted effect of ‘The Fall of the House of Usher.’


Works Cited

Boccio, Rachel. “The Things and Thoughts of Time”: Spatiotemporal Forms of the Transcendent Sublime in “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The Edgar Allan Poe Review 18.1 (2017): 54-72.

Rokeya, Ms, and AK Zunayet Ahammed. “A Shattering Epiphany in James Joyce’s “Araby.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies 8.5 (2017): 140-144.

Spurr, David Anton. “[Review of:] Joyce’s city: history, politics, and life in Dubliners/by Jack Morgan. Columbia: University Of Missouri Press, 2015.” James Joyce Quarterly 52.2 (2017): 1-5.

Weisheng, Tang. “Edgar Allan Poe’s Gothic Aesthetics of Things: Rereading “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Style 52.3 (2018): 287-301.

Zupan, Simon. “Epistemic Modality in Translation: Poe’s” The Fall of the House of Usher”.” AAA: Arbeiten aus Anglistik und Amerikanistik (2016): 5-24. eec15649bf65847a2d1f336ad6f37d9e6a9f1cc161