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  • Madness

    Have any of you read The Fall of the of Usher? ( of Usher) [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] These two stories are alike in innumerable ways. My interpretation of the of Usher (for those of you that have read it) is that the is not real. The narrorator is making all of this up, and symbolises his descent into madness.

    This is what I think the of Leaves is. Johnny's descent into insanity. The represents his mind, hollow, ever changing, never ending, and extremely dark, and extremely not real.

    (If you have read of Usher, there is a description of a painting of a hallway that doesn't seem to end with faint light, veerrry similar.)

    There is also a termonology in literature known as doubling. Like a mirror, Johnny seems to mirror a younger Zampano, Tom mirrors Navidson. They are twins, with exactly the opposite personalities. One, the rational thinker, and the other, the instinctual. Together, they create a normal human being.

    What happens if you face mirrors at each other? There are endless reflections, they keep going and going and going, and you never see the end. I believe that every character mirrors some other character, but I can't tell you which right now, because I would have to go grab the book and study it again.

    My theory is that Johnny is going insane, writing about it abstractly with the theme of mirroring, (doubling).

    -Slacker

  • #2
    Madness

    Well, at first I thought that too, it's all just in Johnny's head. But then, that's too *simple*, isn't it? [img]images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img]

    MZD's messing with our heads.

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    • #3
      Madness

      Simple? Remember the quote Stephen King "said" about the ?

      "Symbols shmimbols. Sure they're important but... Well look at Ahab's whale. Now theres a great symbol. Some say it stands for god, meaning, and purpose. Others say it stands for purposelessness and the void. But what we sometimes forget is that Ahab's whale was just a whale."

      The guy right after said.

      "Sure, I agree with King. An icon for a bridge game, it's a symbol for the program, the data, and more. But in some respects, it can also be looked at as that bridge game. The same is true with this you created. It could represent plenty of things but it also is nothing more than itself, a -- albeit a pretty weird .

      Complicated theories aren't the only way. Simple ones can also be the best. Which could be the point of adding these two peoples thoughts.

      -Slacker

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      • #4
        Madness

        I will never say that the book isn't complex, but I get the feeling that a lot of people forget that the book tells a story about something that happened to Mark and Poe. I'm not flaming, I'm just saying that I think people get off track a bit. Like the idea of Johnny's mom writting the whole book. Sure, all the points makes sense, but when you add in the stuff about Mark and Poe, it seems a bit out there.
        If there is anything I wanna figure out is what the hell happened to Mark and Poe. What was the promise they made "in November"? What happened in the family with their mom and dad? Sure, the book needs to be figured out, but it needs to be figured out with that concept in mind.
        Again, this isnt a flame. All in all, this is just my opinion. Mark could have just used his life as a springboard for the book, not realy try to have it lead back to him and Poe in the end.

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        • #5
          Madness

          umm, i was always under the impression that when E.A. Poe said 'the fall of the of usher' he was referring to the ' of usher' as just a 19th century way of saying 'the usher family'( harkonnen, atreides, for you other dune geeks...)with the guys descent being the families fall, since he has no heir. i was pretty sure that the literal interpretation of it as a was just mid-nineties goths not understanding what they read because they all just wanted to be trendy. sorry, im editorializing. anyway, when the simpsons make jokes about the of usher literally falling, i took that as a sign that i was on the right track.

          or maybe im just thinking about a stupid detail a bit too much. well, my clocks about 4 hours slow, and it says 10:15. so i bid you goodnight.

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          • #6
            Madness

            well..that's sorta it...the family line ends and the building falls. And this strange dead woman walks around. A wonderful example of a classical gothic story. All in all not one of my favorite Poe works. And I really don't see much HOL-type stuff going on in it.

            Now, Hop-Frog, THAT'S an unheimlich story..and 'El Dorado', that's a great poem..

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            • #7
              Madness

              Read about how the falls. It's a gigantic and it falls like a drop of water into an ocean. Bad storytelling? I doubt it. I think the wasn't real in the Fall of the of Usher. (And yes, it was both talking about the family line falling, and the "" falling too.)

              -Slacker

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              • #8
                Madness

                Don't anybody take this the wrong way.

                I never said it was a bad story, I just don't like purple prose. I find simpler descriptions to be much more effective than when the author goes out of his/her way to make it "poetic". I actually get really annoyed at HOL when johnny's going off on his purple streaks.

                So when I get past Poe being all melodramatic and darkly beautiful it's a decent story. Nice images. Ambiguous ending. I just think he's written creepier or more disturbing or more (IMHO) actually poetic works.

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                • #9
                  Madness

                  I agree. It detracts from the overall impact of the story as well, and kinda undermines the author's use of johnny.

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