To make the pumpkin-and-gourd wreath, first cover a 20-inch foam form with sheet moss, using a glue gun to hold the moss in place. Loop a 3-inch-wide burlap ribbon over the wreath to create a hanger long enough so it can reach the top of the door and allow the wreath to hang at eye level. Insert wooden florist picks into the bottoms of pumpkins and gourds, and hot-glue the connection to secure. Once the glue has cooled, stick pumpkins and gourds into the wreath. Fill in with more moss, using a glue gun. To hang the wreath, secure the burlap ribbon with an upholstery tack hammered into the top edge of the door.
The only hold Roderick has on the external world at all is his twin sister, who is less a real person in the story than the last manifestation of Roderick’s physical nature. By burying her, he splits himself off from actual life. Physical life is not so easily suppressed, however, and Madeline returns from her underground tomb to unite her dying body with Roderick’s idealized spirit. As the story nears its horrifying climax, art and reality become even more intertwined. As the narrator reads to Roderick from a gothic romance, sounds referred to in the story are echoed in actuality as the entombed Madeline breaks out of her vault and stalks up the steps to confront her twin brother. Madeline, Roderick, and the house all fall into the dark tarn, the abyss of nothingness, and become as if they had never been. In Poe’s aesthetic universe, the price the artist must pay for cutting himself off from the external world is annihilation.