The Pit and the Pendulum

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by farabee
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The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the PendulumJohn ThreadgillFarabee 5th 2/20/15

Edgar Allan Poe uses various literary devices to create a single unity of effect. The single effect he uses is an atmosphere of terror. To acheive this, he uses the setting, suspense, external conflict, and internal conflict.

SettingThe prisoner in the story is surrounded by an inhosbitable environment that creates a terrifyng atmosphere. The prison is small with no light. The walls are damp and there is a sharp smell."It was a wall, seemingly of stone masonry-- very smooth, slimy and cold."

SuspenseSuspense is created in this story when the prisoner is faced with death. The prisoner stumbles and discovers that he almost fell to his death in a pit. On another occasion, the pendulum begins swinging vigorously. It barely misses him by grazing his chest. "The Pendulum already pressed upon my bosom. It had divided the serge of the robe. It had cut through the linen beneath."

External ConflictThe prisoner is faced with external conflict by the living conditions he is faced with. He lives with rats and is given very little water and pungent meat. The prison itself creates a number of problems for the prisoner.He almost dies in the massive pit and the pendulum almost kills him on several occasions. "I put forward my arm, and I shuddered to find that I had fallen at the very brink of a circular pit."

Internal ConflictAs the story progresses, the prisoner's mental state begins to slowly fade away. He begins to wish for death. He laughs at his own circumstance. He begins to act this way because of the living conditions that he has been faced with."I alternately laughed and howled as the one or the other idea grew predominat."


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