Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review: The Pit and the Pendulum

Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe:
by Edgar Allan Poe
Doubleday (1966), Hardcover, 832 pages

The Pit and the Pendulum is a short story published in 1842.
The main character is a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition. The story tells about the prisoner’s experience of being tortured.
At the center of the cell there is a pit, and on the ceiling there is a picture with a painted Father Time, and hanging from the picture there is a pendulum sliding downward.

Poe’s idea is to describe an atmosphere of fear. The narration, despite the brevity of the story, is slow so to suggest in the reader the angst of ‘tempus fugit’ (time flies).

At the end the rats free the prisoner ...

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