Torture and Torment in The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

1224 Words 5 Pages
Torture and Torment in The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

In the Story The Pit and the Pendulum, the narrator explains that he has been sentenced to death by the Inquisition (the institutionalized persecution of all Protestants and heretical Catholics by the Catholic government in 15th- and 16th-century Spain). The reader however must not get Poe confused with the narrator because the narrator is the one telling the story while Poe is the author of the story. The narrator starts his story by saying he is sick unto death (180). The narrator here is trying to suggest that this sickness is the normal position of a human being; everyone is mortal. He recognizes this in the beginning. "The Pit and the Pendulum" is a story of
…show more content…
He is afraid that he has been trapped in a tomb, but he gets up and walks a few paces, which makes him think that he is not in a tomb but perhaps in one of the dungeons at Toledo (the inquisitor's prison). He decides to explore. However, he soon stumbles and collapses to the ground, where he falls asleep. Upon waking, the narrator finds a portion of water and bread, which he consumes. Then he resumes his tour of the prison, and notices that although most of his body has fallen on solid ground, most of his face is dangling. He realizes that in the center of the prison there is a circular pit. The narrator falls asleep again and wakes up to more water and bread. He imagines that he must have been drugged by the water because he immediately falls asleep after drinking. When he wakes up the next time, the prison is dimly lit. Here on the narrator goes into repeated lapses of unconsciousness. The light allowed him to clarify his understanding of the shape of his cell. The walls were not as he imagined, but were carved with designs of fiends and hideous depictions of the punishments of hell. There were not many pits but only one in the middle of the room. To find the depth of the pit, the narrator breaks a stone off of the wall of the pit and throws it in, listening to it fall. The pit is deep with water at the bottom. The narrator decides that the inquisitors must have left him to fall into the pit. The victim's greatest fear

Related Documents