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Assignment 16: Anticipation Guide Part 3

After reading “The Fall of the House of Usher”, my opinion about the statement which reads, “Fear can be a greater danger to a person’s well being than actual danger can be to a person’s well being,” has changed because reading this the first time, and without thinking in greater depth on this subject, I figured that a real danger would be much worse than a fear of something. However, I soon found myself re-thinking my answer because the fear of something keeps you away from that danger. You may think that that would keep you safer and away from that danger, but I believe that one day you will have to confront your fears, and if you do not get beyond these fears and move forward, you will not be able to live your life to the fullest. Instead you will succumb, or surrender to these fears, and you will not escape these fears and they will stick with you until you get over them, if you ever do. In the story The Fall of the House of Usher after Roderick Usher buries his sister, Madeline, and then bolts down the casket. But why bolt it down? She is dead, right? Well if she was truly dead, then Roderick would not have thought about making sure it cannot open, but because Roderick knows that she is not dead, he bolts it down out of fear, because he knows that if she gets out of her tomb, then it will put his well-being in danger, which it actually does. When Madeline breaks out of her tomb, she falls on Roderick as they both die (Roderick from a heart attack and Madeline from exhaustion). So basically, because Roderick makes this decision out of fear, it comes back to haunt him soon thereafter. There can be many ways to interpret this scene, but no matter which way it is shown, I strongly believe that fear and danger of a person’s well-being, whether it be the narrator’s, Roderick’s or anyone else’s in this twisted story.

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