The Fall of the House of Usher" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe.
The tale opens with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his comfort. Although Poe wrote this short story before the invention of modern psychological science, Usher's symptoms can be described according to its terminology. They include hyperesthesia (extreme hypersensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and tastes), hypochondria, and acute anxiety. It is revealed that Usher's twin sister, Madeline, is also ill, suffering from catalepsy. The narrator is impressed with Usher's paintings, and attempts to cheer him by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions on the guitar. Usher sings "The Haunted Palace", then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be sentient, and that this sentience arises from the arrangement of the masonry and vegetation surrounding it.
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