“The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allen Poe and “The Signal Man” by Charles Dickens Essay
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My first story is “the pit and the pendulum” by Edgar Allen Poe. It is set during the torturous times of the Spanish inquisition.
The story starts of with the person being sentenced by judges who are merely described as “black robed judges” this might be showing that they look dismal and dreary and is just summing up the atmosphere there, or they are just wearing black robes. The person doesn’t actually hear the sentence as the person appears to be drifting in and out of consciousness.
The judges who are sentencing him are only very, very briefly described and their actual physical selves are not described in full, although they do appear to be cruel as the writer mentions the word “grotesque”.
Throughout the first three pages the person is drifting in and out of consciousness. He is also telling us of his despair at being tried and sentenced, and not knowing what his sentence is. Has he been sentenced to death or not? What makes this part good is we are not told every single detail so our imaginations will run wild and think of their own little bits, we are told enough to keep us interested, but not quite enough, so we turn to our own imagination for the rest.
After the first, somewhat introductory pages, which introduce the person, we still don’t know if the person is a male or female and what they have been sentenced for doing!
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Anyway, the person wakes up in a pitch black “dungeon”, he lays there for a while not wanting to open his eyes for the fear of seeing nothing, perhaps he is thinking that he is dead. When he does open his eyes his fears are met because the dungeon he is in is still pitch black, perhaps he is thinking that he is dead? He then realises he’s not dead and is wandering why they have not killed him already, and are they going to keep him alive for the next auto-des-fes?
The person decides to get up and try to feel his way around the dungeon, he places a piece of his clothing on the ground to mark were he started and starts of around the dungeon. Half the way around the person stumbles and falls over, because he feels week he doesn’t move and goes to sleep where he fell. When he awakes he awakes he restarts his journey around the dungeon. but on his way around the person stumbles and falls over once again, but, this time the person realises that his body and chin is on the floor but the top of his head appears to be touching nothing at all, the person can feel a “clammy vapour” coming up onto his head, he realises he had nearly fallen into a circular pit!
The writer uses personification here were he says “the gaping jaws”, showing that the circular pit is large and looks like a pair og jaws poking up from the ground.