The Pit and the Pendulum
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In the short story, Poe uses the pit to symbolize hell. In the beginning, the soldier describes going into the pit as “a mad rushing descent as of the soul into Hades” (Poe 268). The descent reminds the reader of hell in that it is beneath the surface of the ground. Also, when the soldier…
Attention Grabber: Edgar Allan Poe is an American author best known for his tales of mystery Connection: He has written numerous short stories and of those many are about horror. Sentence that flows: In the “Pit and the Pendulum” Poe demonstrates his skills of creating mood and suspense. Thesis: Edgar Allan Poe’s expertise in creating…
Short summary on The Pit and the Pendulum
Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most well-known American writers. He was born in Boston on January 19th, 1809 and died October 7th, 1849. His body of work includes poems, short stories, criticism and even detective stories. Poe’s writing style often featured horror and death as well as psychological suspense. Some of his most famous works include The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart.
The story begins with an unnamed narrator waking up in a dungeon. He is unable to see anything in the darkness, but is able to hear the sound of dripping water and feel cold stone walls around him. The narrator starts panicking and tries to escape from his cell, but he is caught by his captors who threaten to torture him if he tries it again.
The narrator is taken back to his cell where he finds that there is a hole near the ceiling which lets in some light into the room. He uses this hole to watch for any changes in his surroundings or for any signs of other people being present in the room. After some time, he sees a man walking into his cell and realizes that it’s the same man who was torturing him earlier on in their journey together through this dungeon. The man approaches him angrily and starts beating him up before taking out a pendulum from under his cloak.
The narrator gets scared at seeing this object as he knows what it represents: death! He tries running away once more but fails again as he gets caught by his captors once more and tortured even worse than before!
The man’s fear of the pendulum makes him more susceptible to its power over him, which helps make this story effective as horror fiction. In addition, it works as an allegory for many things, including religious persecution (the man represents someone being tortured by an oppressive government); mental illness; physical torture; and war or any other situation where people are forced into situations beyond their control.
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