The Jungle (original/uncut) by Upton Sinclair


Reading Schedule:

  • April 20/21– Pre-reading Activity (Foreword/ Introduction)
  • April 22/25– Chapters 1-2 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 3-5
  • April 26/27Group 1 Reading Playlist Presentation/ Chapters 6-7 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 8-10
  • April 28/29Group 2 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 11-12 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 13-16
  • May 2/3Group 3 Reading Playlist Presentation/ Chapters 17-18 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 19-21
  • May 4/5Group 4 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 22-23 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 24-27
  • May 6/9Group 5 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 28-29 (Read in class) HW: Chapters 30-33
  • May 10/11Group 6 Reading Playlist Presentation/Chapters 34-36, Conclusion (Read in class)
  • May 12/13– Group 7 Reading Playlist Presentation/Socratic Circle
  • May 16/17– Charades Vocabulary Competition
  • May 18/19– Last class to work on Digital Books
  • May 20/23- Digital books are due!


  • The Jungleaudio (all 36 chapters)
    • All 36 chapters are in the playlist on YouTube
    • The speaker skips a few sections, but the audio is adequate to aid your reading of the text.
  • Highlighting legend:
    • Important details/ key facts (YELLOW)
    • Important characters
    • Important dates
    • Important places or vocabulary words
  • Key Terms:
    • muckraking
      Definition: A type of journalism, begun in the early 1900s, that seeks to disclose the corruptness of business, industry, and government.
      Context: The Jungle is an excellent example ofmuckraking
    • progressive movement
      Definition: A campaign in the late 1800s and early 1900s for economic, political, and social reform in the United States.
      Context: The economic reforms of theprogressive movementincluded increased government regulation of business and a series of tax reforms.
    • Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)
      Definition: Author of The Jungle and other books, plays, and articles, all of which focused on social injustices and aimed at improving working conditions.
      Context: Upton Sinclair’sbooks brought social injustices to light and brought him wealth and fame.

Pre-Reading Activity:

Add your responses to your class Padlet.

Period 1’s Padlet, Period 2’s Padlet, Period 3’s Padlet, Period 5’s Padlet

Part 1: 

  1. To what extent do you agree with this statement? “The United States has a history of corporations taking advantage of individuals.” If yes, what are some current examples of this? How does this phenomenon affect individuals, families, and businesses? On the other hand, many would say that United States corporations have made our high quality of life possible. How has corporate America improved the quality of life in this country?
  2. What is Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest”? Extend this theory to basic human nature and explain how it applies to different aspects of society.
  3. What food do you eat in an average day? Where does this food come from? Describe the journey your food makes from source to table.
  4. What was the purpose of unions in America? How has this purpose evolved? What unions have been in the news recently?
  5. What traits distinguish people of one social class from another in United States society today? Money? Job? Home? Education? Family? Ethnicity? Religion? Can you tell people of different classes apart? What advantages do some classes have over others? Why do most societies have class distinctions?
  6. What is capitalism? Do you believe it is a fair, effective system? What are the advantages and pitfalls of such a system?
  7. What is socialism? What countries have this system? Do you believe it is a fair, effective system? What are the advantages and pitfalls of such a system?

Part 2: 

  • Read the “Foreword” as a class.
  • Jigsaw reading of the “Introduction.”
    • Read your section of the “Introduction.”
    • Write down the key points in a bulleted list.
    • Present your bulleted list to the other groups.

Main Characters: In Order of Appearance

Lithuanian Pronunciation Guide: Click Here. 🙂

  • Marija Biarczynskas (ma-REE-ah ber-JIN-skas): Ona’s cousin, a 20-something orphan, but a strong woman.
  • Ona Lukoszis (OH-na luke-oh-SHY-tay): Marija’s 16-year-old cousin and Elzbieta’s step-daughter.
  • Jurgis Rudkos (YER-gis rudd-KUSS): a strong Lithuanian immigrant who comes to America looking for the American Dream.
  • Teta Elzbieta Lukoszis (tay-Ta Luke-oh-SHY-tay): Aunt Elizabeth, Ona’s stepmother, and mother of six.
  • Tamoszius Kuszlejka (tam-ohsh-YOOS kuz-lie-KA): a fiddle player who intends to marry Marija.
  • Dieda Antanas Rudkos (Day-da on-TAN-us rudd-KUSS): Grandfather Anthony, Jurgis’s father, about 60 years old.
  • Jokubas Szadwilas (YO-koo-bus jzed-VEE-lus): delicatessen store owner and Lucija’s husband.
  • Aniele Jukniene (ann-eel-AA yuk-NINE-uh): a widow with 3 children; she rents rooms in her home.
  • Jonas (YO-nus): Elzbieta’s brother.
  • Stanislovas (stah-KNEES-lo-vas): Teta Elzbieta’s 13-year-old small son.
  • Tom Cassidy: a powerful Democrat and owner of much of “underground” Packingtown.
  • Phil Connor: a foreman at Brown’s, where Ona works.
  • Jack Duane: a thief that Jurgis meets in jail.

Literature Circles:

Students will place themselves into groups of 3-4 students. They will complete all assigned projects in their literature circles.

Each literature circle will create a paper booklet (typed, printed, and bound) that includes:

NOTE: Revised directions are highlighted in orange!

  • Create a playbill or advertising poster for the mini-series adaptation of the novel. List the main characters and the actors who portray them.
  • Present a videotaped television commercial for a mini-series based on the book.
  • Choose an excerpt from a key scene in the text and present a dramatic reading to the class.
  • Create a timeline for one character. Honors Students: You will track two characters. If possible, extend it beyond the events in the novel.
  • Honors Students ONLY: Prepare and present a real or imagined soliloquy for any character. Include thoughts and feelings appropriate to that character.
  • Trace one of the Meat Packing companies in the text and research what the happened to that company. If you do not want to focus on a company in Chicago, you may choose a company from one of the other states that housed major factories. (i.e.- New York, Texas, etc). Questions to consider: Is it still around today? Did it merge with another company? Does the company currently (2016) have a good reputation?
    • Armour & Co.= Andersons
    • Swift & Co.= Smiths
    • Morris & Co.= Mortons 
  • Present a solution to one of the key issues presented in The Jungle. What is the issue? How was it mishandled in the text? How should it have been solved?
  • Make connections: What is one controversial issue our society is currently dealing with that is similar to an issue discussed in The Jungle? If you were hired to create a muckraking piece to expose that problem, how would you infiltrate the company, group, or community? What element of the problem would you focus on to make your book more appealing to readers?
  • Due: May 20/23  May 26-27, 2016. (Please include all of your group members names on the booklet.

Assign each member roles: Create a document in your Google Drive and label each section with your role and the chapter. There should be a new date and section for each group meeting. You will share your document with your group members through google drive. (i.e.- Create a shared folder where everyone in the group will place their documents for all the group members to see).

**If your group only has three (3) people, everyone should help with the research portion.

  • Summarizer (Record the basic gist of each chapter. What is the moral issue discussed by Sinclair? Include page number of important events.)
  • Illustrator (Turn each chapter into an image that can aid your group’s understanding of the key events.)
  • Vocabulary Enricher/ Word Wizard (Define the key vocabulary words in each chapter. Include page numbers)
  • Travel Tracer (Track the movements of the major characters in the book. i.e.- Where are they coming from? -Lithuania Include page numbers.)

Period 1:(Groups of 3 ONLY)

  • Group 1:Daniel & Ray
  • Group 2:Florencia, Daliannys, Valeria
  • Group 3: Lelis, Kelvin, Jalon
  • Group 4: Alexus, Kameron, Karelly
  • Group 5: Janai, Shan’Yah, Julie
  • Group 6: Ernesto & Anthony
  • Group 7: Gabriel & Kevin

Period 2:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Emelyn, Logan, Kayla G., Destiny
  • Group 2: Amada Gomez, Denisse, Gabrielle, Christine
  • Group 3: Victoria, Maynela, Karla, Jorge
  • Group 4: Erycah, Maya, Tarik, Absalom
  • Group 5: Ernie, Kelly, Gloria, Lissette, Janay
  • Group 6: Gerardo, Jefferson, Samuel, Daniel
  • Group 7: Kahla Campbell, Emily, Anyell, Cayla Coffey

Period 3:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Talhaa, Douglas, & Montse
  • Group 2: Danny, Zarlette, & Deyni
  • Group 3: Sommore, Kassandra, & Amanda
  • Group 4: Woodline, Dinorah, & Yesenia
  • Group 5: Luis, Edward, & Arnelle
  • Group 6: David, Kevin, Richard
  • Group 7: Carina, Chaez & Raven

Period 5:(Groups of 3-4 ONLY)

  • Group 1: Joshua, Shavon, Juan
  • Group 2: Roxanne, Suany, Nathan, Jose
  • Group 3: Chanta, Veronica, Nathalie, Steven
  • Group 4: Maria, Roxely, Alysen
  • Group 5: Ashanti, Devin, Bryan
  • Group 6: Erynn, Juliette, William
  • Group 7: Luis E., Luis C., Victoria, Jorge

Reading Playlists

While we read each chapter, groups will be required to put together a playlist or song collage whose lyrics represent elements of your assigned chapter by Upton Sinclair. Your group should find one song per assigned chapter that you can share with the class with an explanation how the lyrics fit the plot, characters, or theme.

Groups: Add your playlists to your class’ Padlet.

Period 1: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 2:Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 3: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Period 5: Padlet

  • Chapters 1-5= Group 1
  • Chapters 6-10= Group 2
  • Chapters 11-15= Group 3
  • Chapters 16-20= Group 4
  • Chapters 21-25= Group 5
  • Chapters 26- 30= Group 6
  • Chapters 31-36= Group 7

Vocabulary Review: Charades Competition

Create a charades game with key terms from the book. Write your key terms on index cards and create a decorated box to hold your index cards. In class, we will play charades in our literature circles. Each group will receive another group’s charades box. Winning teams from each will go to the playoffs. Through process of elimination, two groups will battle for the following prize: extra credit and candy.

Vocabulary Words: Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7

  • cortege 
  • veselija
  • viands
  • maudlin
  • incommoding 
  • pungent 
  • rancid 
  • wizened 
  • fetid 
  • felicitous 
  • colloquy 
  • parley
  • ptomaines 
  • isinglass
  • pepsin 
  • albumen 
  • besom 
  • placard 
  • deference 
  • volubility 
  • ludicrously 
  • laissez faire 
  • caste
  • saltpetre 
  • hordes 
  • specter 
  • primeval
  • fodder 
  • alchemist 
  • respite 
  • harried 
  • contingencies 
  • redress 
  • obstinate 
  • impropriety 
  • superfluity 
  • inexorably 
  • abyss
  • penury
  • rebuffs
  • sprier 
  • rebuke
  • magnanimity 
  • obdurate 
  • ptarmigan 
  • prestidigitator 
  • menagerie
  • torpor 
  • sordid 
  • primeval 
  • specter 
  • pittance 
  • melee 
  • effaced 
  • penitential 
  • catechism 
  • ineffable 
  • ingot 
  • tractable 
  • mendicants 
  • insouciance 
  • pugilist
  • odious 
  • oligarchy 
  • notorious 
  • debauchery 
  • vicissitudes 
  • plutocrat 
  • prodigiously 
  • saturnalia 
  • contagion 
  • labyrinthine 
  • impunity 
  • verities 
  • balustrade 
  • absinthe 
  • obloquy 
  • juggernaut 
  • squalor 
  • imperious 
  • prostrate
  • fetter 
  • proletariat 
  • morasses 
  • impervious
  • recalcitrant 
  • unregenerate 
  • exhorting 
  • incendiary 
  • fusillade 
  • elucidate 
  • stygian 
  • debauched 
  • menials 
  • tomes 
  • pettifogging 
  • chicanery 
  • knave 


Socratic Circle:

Debate the morality of the meatpacking industry in the 1900’s. Students will not be presenting their own viewpoints, but the viewpoints of the characters from the book. Character roles will be assigned the class period before the Socratic Circle.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald




F. Scott Fitzgerald




Student Presentations: 

Summarize the major events, discuss the literary devices and hidden meanings in your assigned chapter. You may present your chapter  by using either of the following platforms:

The Great Gatsby Journal

For each of the nine (9) chapters, you will be expected to write the following in your Gatsby Journals. Bring printed journals in a booklet (scrapbook, decorative binder, etc).

  1. Title entries with the chapter number.

  2. Write a five sentence chapter summary.

  3. Each chapter choose a different character to focus on.

    1. Name the character.

    2. Choose a quote that you think best represents the character.

    3. Describe his/her best and worst qualities.

    4. In a paragraph describe the character’s role in the novel.

  4. From each chapter choose one meaningful quote, and then describe its significance in the novel.

  5. Each chapter note at least two sightings of one or more of the following symbols: the color green, the color white, silver and gold, the ash heap, the eyes of T.J. Eckleberg, Gatsby’s career/Nick’s career, Gatsby’s library of uncut books/Nick’s unread books, Dan Cody, East Vs. West Egg, rain in chapter five, heat in chapter seven, Wolfsheim’s cufflinks, faded timetable (showing names of Gatsby’s guests), Gatsby’s cars/clothes.

Grading Gatsby Journals
Chapter Titles 5
Chapter Summary 10
Character Quote 10
Character’s Best/Worst Qualities 20
Character’s Role 20
Symbol Tracking 35
Total Points 100 per chapter (9 chapters total)

Journals are due at the end of the unit.

 Potential Activities:

The Gatsby Setting Map Project:

The Great Gatsby Setting Map Objective:

To create a map of the setting used in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby based on the descriptions given in the novel.

Areas Required on Map:

  • a. East Egg (pgs. 4 – 5)
  • b. Buchanan’s house (pgs. 6 – 7)
  • c. West Egg (pgs. 4 – 5)
  • d. Gatsby’s house (pg. 5)
  • e. Nick’s house (pg. 5)
  • f. Long Island Sound (pg. 5)
  • g. Valley of Ashes (pg. 23)
  • h. T.J. Eckleberg billboard (pg. 23)
  • i. Railroad tracks and motor road (pg. 23)
  • j. Wilson’s garage/house (pgs. 24 -25)
  • k. New York (pg. 4, 23)
  • l. Jordan’s aunt’s apartment (pg. 19)
  • m. Tom and Myrtle’s apartment (pgs. 28 -29)


  1. Choose a group of 2 or 3 peers to work with. Make sure they are people you can get along with!
  2. Sketch out a rough draft of map on notebook paper. Remember your map must be based upon descriptions from novel.
  3. Get rough draft approved and obtain permission to get a sheet of posterboard.
  4. Using various art supplies available in the room, draw your map on the posterboard. Make sure it is big and colorful and suitable for hanging on the wall.
  5. All areas must be clearly labeled. You may choose to use a legend for identification of smaller locations.
  6. All members of the group must sign their name in one corner on the front of the map using black marker.

Due Dates: Listen carefully and copy down the following due dates:

*Your rough draft must be done by ____________________________.

*The final draft must be done by ______________________________.

Assessment: This map is worth a total of 65 points. All group members must contribute to earn the same points. If there are students that choose to let their peers due most of the work,they should expect to earn few points. The instructor will be documenting your work habits. Please look over the attached rubric after getting in your groups. Be aware of how you will be assessed before you start the assignment. Fill out top of rubric and turn it in with the final draft of your poster.

Gatsby Map Evaluation Group Members:________________________________________________

Areas Required — 3 points each:

  • ____East Egg
  • ____Buchanan’s House
  • ____West Egg
  • ____Gatsby’s House
  • ____Nick’s House
  • ____Long Island Sound
  • ____Valley of Ashes
  • ____T.J. Eckleberg Billboard
  • ____Railroad tracks and motor road
  • ____Wilson’s Garage/House
  • ____New York
  • ____Tom and Myrtle’s love nest
  • ____Jordan’s aunt’s apartment

TOTAL — _____/39 ____/16

Logical interpretation based on novel ____/5

Easy to read–labeled clearly ____/5

Colorful and pleasing to the eye ____/10

Teamwork — did not argue, all members contributed

Extra Items? _____ points extra credit

GRAND TOTAL ____/75 = ____%_____

Gatsby Art

Draw posters of each of these major symbols and images from The Great Gatsby. Use descriptions from the novel to inform their representations.

  1. Draw the T.J. Eckleberg billboard.
  2. Draw the front page of a Town Tattler and on it list all of the gossip about Gatsby. Leave room at the bottom so you may add more gossip as you continue reading the novel.
  3. Draw a timeline including major events that precede 1922 and major events that follow the publishing of The Great Gatsby.
  4. Draw a work order for caterers, gardeners, etc. for one of Gatsby’s parties.
  5. Draw up a list of comments made by Nick or others about women.
  6. What kind of narrator is Nick? What does he have to convince us of? What do you know about him? Draw up a list.
  7. Draw a picture of the owl-eyed man and others who frequent Gatsby’s parties.
  8. Draw a picture of the ash heap. Include Mr. Wilson’s gas station.
  9. Make a “Who’s Gatsby?” chart which lists gossip about him on one side and facts about him on the other. Leave room so you may add information as you continue reading.
  10. Create a map of Long Island and New York City, tracking the forays of Nick and others. (If you are industrious include New Haven and the midwest on your map.)


Narrative Writing

Use this checklist to ensure your narrative is engaging and thoroughly developed.


Narrative Checklist p1Narrative Checklist p2


What does this look like?


There are so many different stylistic choices to make when it comes to narrative writing. Take a look at the following examples to gather inspiration for your own writing.

Example #1:

“The Story of An Hour”- 1894

by Kate Chopin

Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.

It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her husband’s friend Richards was there, too, near her. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed.” He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.

She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.

There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which someone was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.

She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.

She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.

There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.

Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will–as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been. When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under the breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.

She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.

There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.

And yet she had loved him–sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!

“Free! Body and soul free!” she kept whispering.

Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission. “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door–you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven’s sake open the door.”

“Go away. I am not making myself ill.” No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window.

Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.

She arose at length and opened the door to her sister’s importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. She clasped her sister’s waist, and together they descended the stairs. Richards stood waiting for them at the bottom.

Someone was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his grip-sack and umbrella. He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one. He stood amazed at Josephine’s piercing cry; at Richards’ quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife.

When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease–of the joy that kills.

Example #2

“The Fall of the House of Usher” (excerpt)- 1839

by Edgar Allan Poe

DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was –but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me –upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain –upon the bleak walls –upon the vacant eye-like windows –upon a few rank sedges –and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees –with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium –the bitter lapse into everyday life –the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart –an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it –I paused to think –what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? It was a mystery all insoluble; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down –but with a shudder even more thrilling than before –upon the remodelled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.

Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks. Its proprietor, Roderick Usher, had been one of my boon companions in boyhood; but many years had elapsed since our last meeting. A letter, however, had lately reached me in a distant part of the country –a letter from him –which, in its wildly importunate nature, had admitted of no other than a personal reply. The MS. gave evidence of nervous agitation. The writer spoke of acute bodily illness –of a mental disorder which oppressed him –and of an earnest desire to see me, as his best, and indeed his only personal friend, with a view of attempting, by the cheerfulness of my society, some alleviation of his malady. It was the manner in which all this, and much more, was said –it the apparent heart that went with his request –which allowed me no room for hesitation; and I accordingly obeyed forthwith what I still considered a very singular summons.

Although, as boys, we had been even intimate associates, yet I really knew little of my friend. His reserve had been always excessive and habitual. I was aware, however, that his very ancient family had been noted, time out of mind, for a peculiar sensibility of temperament, displaying itself, through long ages, in many works of exalted art, and manifested, of late, in repeated deeds of munificent yet unobtrusive charity, as well as in a passionate devotion to the intricacies, perhaps even more than to the orthodox and easily recognisable beauties, of musical science. I had learned, too, the very remarkable fact, that the stem of the Usher race, all time-honoured as it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch; in other words, that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain. It was this deficiency, I considered, while running over in thought the perfect keeping of the character of the premises with the accredited character of the people, and while speculating upon the possible influence which the one, in the long lapse of centuries, might have exercised upon the other –it was this deficiency, perhaps, of collateral issue, and the consequent undeviating transmission, from sire to son, of the patrimony with the name, which had, at length, so identified the two as to merge the original title of the estate in the quaint andequivocal appellation of the “House of Usher” –an appellation which seemed to include, in the minds of the peasantry who used it, both the family and the family mansion.

I have said that the sole effect of my somewhat childish experiment –that of looking down within the tarn –had been to deepen the first singular impression. There can be no doubt that the consciousness of the rapid increase of my superstition –for why should I not so term it? –served mainly to accelerate the increase itself. Such, I have long known, is theparadoxical law of all sentiments having terror as a basis. And it might have been for this reason only, that, when I again uplifted my eyes to the house itself, from its image in the pool, there grew in my mind a strange fancy –a fancy so ridiculous, indeed, that I but mention it to show the vivid force of the sensations which oppressed me. I had so worked upon my imagination as really to believe that about the whole mansion and domain there hung an atmosphere peculiar to themselves and their immediate vicinity-an atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven, but which had reeked up from the decayed trees, and the gray wall, and the silent tarn –a pestilent and mystic vapour, dull, sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden-hued.

Shaking off from my spirit what must have been a dream, I scanned more narrowly the real aspect of the building. Its principal feature seemed to be that of an excessive antiquity. The discoloration of ages had been great. Minute fungi overspread the whole exterior, hanging in a fine tangled web-work from the eaves. Yet all this was apart from any extraordinary dilapidation. No portion of the masonry had fallen; and there appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptation of parts, and the crumbling condition of the individual stones. In this there was much that reminded me of the specious totality of old wood-work which has rotted for long years in some neglected vault, with no disturbance from the breath of the external air. Beyond this indication of extensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability. Perhaps the eye of a scrutinising observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the sullen waters of the tarn.

Noticing these things, I rode over a short causeway to the house. A servant in waiting took my horse, and I entered the Gothic archway of the hall. A valet, of stealthy step, thence conducted me, in silence, through many dark and intricate passages in my progress to the studio of his master. Much that I encountered on the way contributed, I know not how, to heighten the vague sentiments of which I have already spoken. While the objects around me –while the carvings of the ceilings, the sombre tapestries of the walls, the ebon blackness of the floors, and the phantasmagoric armorial trophies which rattled as I strode, were but matters to which, or to such as which, I had been accustomed from my infancy –while I hesitated not to acknowledge how familiar was all this –I still wondered to find how unfamiliar were the fancies which ordinary images were stirring up. On one of the staircases, I met the physician of the family. His countenance, I thought, wore a mingled expression of low cunning and perplexity. He accosted me with trepidation and passed on. The valet now threw open a door and ushered me into the presence of his master.