The pit and the pendulum theme

A man enters, General Lassalle, who has come from the French army. Active Themes The narrator of "Pit and Pendulum" is mesmerized by this motion for a minute but then gets distracted by some huge rats that have entered the cell apparently from the well in the center.

As he strains to reach the meat beside his wooden board, a glimmer of hope occurs to him, a fleeting thought of joy. He is so hungry and thirsty that he devours the offering without questioning its source. And while the French have abruptly saved the narrator from the inquisition, somehow there is little joy in it, and no celebration.

He can now see the full size of the cell. He contemplates how the blade would cut through the fabric of his robe, forcing himself to imagine the thrill of feeling the rip.

He tries in vain to look through it. The irregularity of the dungeon also exaggerates the idea of the unknown.

He wakes paranoid about being watched and sick with hunger, even knowing his impending death. They have defeated the Inquisition and the nightmare is over.

He struggles to capture this thought but finds his mind is useless with fear. It becomes clear that the strange light is coming from a small gap between the wall and the floor going around the perimeter of the cell. Summary Analysis The story begins at the moment the narrator of "Pit and Pendulum" is sentenced to death at the time of the Catholic Inquisition.

Now, as he is forced to watch the pendulum descend slowly toward him, swing by swing, the narrator is tortured by being able to see. Suddenly, the plans of his captors becomes frighteningly clear — the walls are closing in on the narrator of "Pit and Pendulum".

As he lets go and is about to fall to his death, the sound of trumpets wakes him. The walls are glowing with these figures and the whole room is full of that metallic light. Active Themes The narrator of "Pit and Pendulum" tries to withstand the pressure of the closing walls but soon he barely has an inch to stand on.

This pit is a symbol of the deep unknown realm that the Inquisition has created. He wipes the oily residue from the meat along the bandages that restrain him.

Between the downward motion of the scythe, the awful presence of the pit and the scuttling rats, the narrator lies helpless. There is some very aromatic meat beside the board, but no water this time and he is unbearably thirsty. The pendulum is both a weapon and a time-keeper.

Then his senses cut out, and he is filled with a shock-like sensation and the figures around him turn into angel-like ghosts. Poe gives his narrator qualities of wit and ingenuity, by showing his determination to carefully measure out the dimensions of the cell, but these qualities come to nothing when compared to the power the unknown foe has over him.

When he wakes yet again, the cell is visible from a light coming from somewhere. It is not like sleep or death, it has its own particular sensations which occur in two stages, the first the return of the spirit, then of the body. The scythe is now almost touching his skin but he manages to duck out of its way at the last moment.

The rats fuelled only by their desire to eat. Active Themes The narrator of "Pit and Pendulum" watches the pendulum swaying back and forth, directly over his heart.Although "The Pit and the Pendulum" focuses on a single character, the reader actually discovers very little about him.

One does not know his name, what he has done, whether he is guilty, whether he is a criminal, what he misses about life in the everyday world, whether he loves someone-in short, the reader knows none.

The Pit and the Pendulum

The narrator of "Pit and Pendulum" watches the pendulum swaying back and forth, directly over his heart. He contemplates how the blade would cut through the fabric of his robe, forcing himself to imagine the thrill of feeling the rip.

Themes and Characters

In "The Pit and the Pendulum," Death is on the narrator's mind from the very first line, right up until the final moment. The strange thing is, for a.

Determine how much you know about the theme and symbols of The Pit and the Pendulum.

The Pit and the Pendulum Themes

Answer study questions on key topics like the themes in the story and the fears the narrator is faced with. Answer study questions on key topics like the themes in the story and the fears the narrator is faced with. Discussion of themes and motifs in Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum.

eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of The Pit and the Pendulum so you can excel on your essay or test. The Pit and the Pendulum Themes Death In "The Pit and the Pendulum," Death is on the narrator's mind from the very first line, right up until the final moment.

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The pit and the pendulum theme
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