I think this is my final exam response in it’s entirety.
5) Edgar Allen Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher
Well, perhaps because it is “barely perceptible” I missed the reference to the fissure the first time I read this story. I can understand it portends the crumbling of the house itself, but a passage from page 795 first lead me to believe this family was coming to an end. That passage described the family lineage of the Ushers and the apparent inbreeding they practiced. The reference to the inbreeding plus the fissure spelled doom for Roderick and Madeline, in fact the
whole story was the narrator’s description of this fall. These two are doomed but it doesn’t need to be that way. Had Roderick bothered to take care of the house, himself and his sister, maybe it didn’t need to be that way. Pointing out the fissure wasn’t vital but it did explain in advance the actual “Fall” of the house of Usher.
2) Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I find most interesting about Thoreau is that he laments the end of peace and quiet, the beginning of industrialization, in a time where modern day American would look at life in the early to middle 19th century either as “paradise” or no different than living in caves. What makes this line so important is that it us the underlying reason for Walden’s living in a cabin by the lake. His life had become too complicated with too much nonsense to worry about that he moved to the
woods to get away from it. Thoreau could see where our society was headed and didn’t like it. He felt that the further people got away from the nature of their being, the further they got away from their soul. Thoreau understood that humans should be living closer to their animal cousins than they were and wanted to get everyone back to it.
4) Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Not real hard to see where Stowe is going with this one. Both the law and the church, not only turned a blind eye turned slavery, but endorsed it. The new constitution didn’t outlaw it nor did the church condemn it. Stowe is wondering how good Christian people can be so cruel. How can these people praise God one minute and whip somebody the next. Though this exists, people don’t talk about it. Like they know what they are doing is wrong but if they pretend maybe it won’t be? This selection is important because it addresses the way religion is used to justify slavery and the treatment of the slaves.