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Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” takes location throughout the Spanish Inquisition. The morbid narrative consist on an innocent man’s worries coming to life after he is sentenced to death. “The Pit and the Pendulum” showcases the style of terror and ruthlessness by establishing descriptive setting, extreme plot, and innovative irony. Setting is a huge part of the thesis because it catches the readers attention to see what the character sees. One of the most prominent setting Poe creates is when the main character is engulfed in overall darkness.
The quote, “the blackness of everlasting night incorporated me,” help the reader totally envision what it would resemble to see definitely nothing creating a sense of fear of not knowing what’s around. Another impactful setting was when Poe writes the pendulum scene. The pendulum quickly begins to come down swinging back and forth, all the while “ravenous” rats circle you like predators waiting to devour what’s left.
The style, cruelty, is more than clear in this setting, trapping the reader in true thriller. Further more, Poe develops a sense of thriller and suspicion with the unpredictability of the fate that is to come to the main character. “It appeared obvious that mine was not, at least, the most horrible of fates.” Through out the story the character constantly manages a method to cheat his death. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop his torturers. With this in mind, Poe magnifies the plot by providing more nail-biting situations. For instance, when the character has to choose his death.
The walls are closing in on him, forcing him to either delve into the pit or get crushed to death. What could be more frightening? The structure up of the plot promotes the style, terror, by having the primary character make the supreme choice. It is all too ironic the truth that regardless of all the character’s best efforts to conserve himself, he stops working because the enemy exists to restrain them. For example, “when the motion of the hellish machine stopped and I beheld it prepared, by some invisible force … My every movement was undoubtedly watched.
Free!- I had but escaped death in one form of agony, to be delivered unto worse…” However, when he gives up all hope at the end of the story, he is surprised to have been saved by General Lasalle. The sick recognition of irony supports themes such as terror and cruelty by showing how the character succeeds only to fail, just to be saved in the end. In conclusion, Poe does an impeccable job at developing the themes of terror and cruelty by truly including the reader in every aspect of the story. “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe proves to be outstanding in all perspectives of settings. He always keeps the reader interested through the suspense of the plot. The irony in the story oozes out of every word. The themes are easy to pick out only because the story is so well developed.
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