Pit and the Pendulum

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story, Science fiction Pages: 2 (539 words) Published: November 6, 2013
"The Pit and the Pendulum" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in 1842 in the literary annual The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present for 1843. The story is about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition, though Poe skews historical facts. The narrator of the story describes his experience of being tortured. The story is especially effective at inspiring fear in the reader because of its heavy focus on the senses, such as sound, emphasizing its reality, unlike many of Poe's stories which are aided by the supernatural. The traditional elements established in popular horror tales at the time are followed, but critical reception has been mixed One thing that was interesting was, that the heretic might have been post humus. He says “I was sick, sick unto death,” he referred to his sickness as past tense by saying “was.” Unto death means that he is dead. So he was saying that he was sick until he died. So is he post humus or does it just sound that way? I think if you read this story you will agree that he is delusional. In fact he says “I saw angels for a few moments of delirious Horror.” So he also knows he’s delirious. For a while he saw angels, then their heads burst into flames and eventually into candles. He also sees the judges again and some other images. As you would guess he was scared. He said that he trembled at the sound of his own voice. He is scared about the horrible death and he’s not even sure what it is. The blade, at the end of the story, comes down so far that when he’s lying down on the floor it is slowly cutting his robe. FInally, he becomes relieved. He actually was not just relieved at the end but also in the middle of the story. He stated that his distress had left him. The rats bite through his straps that were holding him down and I’m sure that led to a lot of relief. At the end of the story he sees an outstretched arm and then is pulled out of his cell, which was the ultimate...
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