Well maybe not so much in this next story!
We've reached the last of Poe's Short Stories....for this unit at least...The Pit and the Pendulum.
This happens to be one of Poe's most gruesome stories and definitely suspenseful stories! Written in 1842, The Pit and the Pendulum is a tale of psychological terror. The Spanish Inquisition- Poe's choice of setting- was notorious for its cruel forms of torture and executions; this time period and place instantly establishes a sinister atmosphere. As the story begins, the unnamed narrator has been sentenced to death by a panel of judges. In the days that follow, he is subjected to the torments of the pit and pendulum. Now, we really don't know what's in the pit. The lack of accurate description heightens the atmosphere of dread. Despite his suffering, the narrator displays hope and perseverance in the face of his seemingly inevitable death, but, he chooses to fight for his life instead. Reminds me a lot of Jigsaw from the Saw movie franchise!
Poe creates extreme mental anguish for his character by manipulating two common fears: fear of darkness and fear of the unknown. The Pit and the Pendulum is more than a horror story. Through is character, Poe instills a message of the potential of human integrity; the narrator is beaten but not defeated. Poe's underlying message is that life is a continuous battle, full of victories and defeats. Throughout life's challenges, however, the human spirit will endure.
What scares you the most? Maybe the POP quiz we'll be having?!
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