Undermilkwood and The Fall of The House of Usher rely on the richness of the language to capture the interest of the audience. Discuss the truth of this statement.
I agree with the statement above stating that the two pieces of literature rely on the richness of language. However, not only is it the richness of the language but also the poetic quality of the language used to describe scenes that capture the attention of the audience.
“Undermilkwood” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” are both two imaginative and complex pieces of literature. One of the main similarities in each piece of literature is darkness. However, the darkness is used very differently in each piece of literature.
“Undermilkwood” is a short play for voices where as “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a gothic horror story. “Undermilkwood” has an all-encompassing atmosphere that creates a protective and gentle atmosphere. Although the two pieces of literature are set in different seasons they both sound similar.
“Undermilkwood” is set on a dark spring night where as “The Fall of the House of Usher” is set in autumn to create an atmosphere of decay and darkness. Edgar Allen Poe shows this by writing, “…upon the bleak walls, upon the vacant eye like windows upon a few rank sedges and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees…”
To create a tranquil atmosphere Dylan Thomas uses sibilance, an example of this is, “…slow black, crow black, fishing boat bobbing sea?” The Fall of the House of Usher creates a dark effect by using archaic language; this is all in keeping with the gothic horror genre.
Dylan Thomas and Edgar Allen Poe both use alliteration to create effect. In Undermilkwood alliteration is used to create rhythm, an example of this is “…bonnet broach and bombazine black butterfly chacer and bootlace bow…” the assonance of the C and the consonance of the hard B creates a light feeling to the passage by creating the effect of skipping through the town.
Alliteration is also used in The Fall of the House of Usher to give the impression of being on horseback; “…during the whole of a dull, dark and soundless day…” the alliteration of the D is onomatopoeic.
In “Undermilkwood” Dylan Thomas writes in long but very quick sentences. This is because he uses very simple punctuation, which makes very quick flowing sentences. Only a few comers allow for pauses for breath.
By repeating the impression and using abstracts Edgar Allen Poe compounds the atmosphere. An example of this is “…unsuffering gloom, utter depression of the soul, unredeemed dreariness…” Poe uses physical word such as “…rank sedges and white trunks of decayed trees…” to create atmosphere. The Fall of the House of Ushers rhythm is a long drawn out one with slow sentences and frequently uses semi colons, dashes and brackets that cause the story to drag on. Poe creates an atmosphere of Isolation, undreamed fear and depression.
Thomas creates a dark but calm atmosphere. Not only does Thomas use metaphors but he also uses emphatic statements such as, “Listen, it is night in the chill squat chapel…” a dismal and dreary day in autumn is the setting which Poe uses try and create a black and white image in your mind. Poe creates his atmosphere by writing, “When the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens. I had been passing alone on horseback through a singly dreary tract of country…”
The closer he got to the house the gloomier and darker it became, an example of this is, “…but with a shudder even more thrilling than before – upon the remodelled and inverted image of the grey sedge, and the ghostly tree stems and the vacant eye like window…” Poe writes the first paragraph in such a way that it captures the reader’s attention and makes him involved in the play.
After reading both passages, The Fall of the House of Usher and Undermilkwood. I have decided that I prefer Undermilkwood as it has in my opinion a richer language, which is more flowing and has rhythm, which makes it enjoyable to read.