The Pit and the Pendulum

Topics: Christianity, Edgar Allan Poe, Short story Pages: 2 (618 words) Published: November 10, 2013

Light of Darkness

In the story, "The Pit and the Pendulum", written by the infamous Edgar Allen Poe, written in 1843, places a man during the time of the Inquisition who is incarnated. Beginning the story, this man, who remains unnamed, receives a death sentence and immediately faints. Upon waking he finds himself in a completely dark room. Scared that he is inside a tomb, he moves around to reinsure himself. Upon exploring this darkened room he accidentally trips and falls finding that his entire body has landed on a surface other than his face where it dangles over an abyss. After much thought, he decides that it's a pit in the middle of the prison and decides to test how far it is down. Throwing a rock down the pit he determines that if one were to jump down into the pit, the jump would be fatal. Again, the prisoner fell asleep and wakes up to bread and water, which is drugged, and once again, falls asleep. This time, upon his awakening, he finds that he is tied to a wooden board and a strapped fastened around him. Looking up, the prisoner sees a pendulum, which starts swinging back and forth, nearing his heart. Suddenly, the prisoner thinks of a brilliant plan and places the food that his captors gave him on his strap, which guaranteed his death by the pendulum, attracting rats to chew through the straps. His plan succeeds until he realizes people are watching him and thats when the walls start to heat up and move inward. The narrator suddenly realizes that he was going to die. Either from the pit, or the pendulum. There is no escape from death. To his surprise, just as not even an inch of foot hold remains, the walls retract. However, the narrator fainted into the pit. Surprisingly, to both readers and the prisoner, himself, a French general Lasalle, ave him from falling in because they'd successfully taken over the prison in an effort to terminate the Inquisition. Undoubtedly, Edgar Allen Poe's dark writing easily pulls any reader in and...
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