Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle ePUB] The Pit and the Pendulum

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S heavy focus on the senses emphasizing its reality unlike many of Poe's stories which are aided by the supernatura. If you see Poe s pit and pendulum as metaphors for the psychological state of being trapped between two bad choices it makes sense in much less dramatic situations than the one he chose Should I stay in an environment that is toxic or jump into the unknown pitShould I sell the rotten stocks or should I keep themShould I speak up or stay uietShould I work for another hour or open a bottle of wineShould I buy the book or save the money though that is not really a choiceShould I let myself be caught by Scylla or CharybdisIf you ask yourself enough uestions you will always end up in Greek mythology as a source at some point won t you And then the uestion is is there an Odyssean way of getting out of the nightmare of two bad choices In Poe s nightmare should I dream on until the bitter end or should I wake up and walk out The worst fear is the feeling of passive choiceless suffering something that Poe s Christian Inuisition theme is much better at evoking than Odysseus whose thrifty approach to finding the third way is famous for a reasonThe third way for me often than not means reading about the fears I face and feeling part of a community that is larger than the pit where I live my life watching the pendulum of my time spent Zooming out watching Poe create an atmosphere of choking anxiety bizarrely soothes me and my nerves As his pit grows darker and deeper mine shrinks to a minor bump in the road and as his pendulum accelerates mine looks like a fork in the pathSo whenever my worrying mind creates that inner choice between nightmares I opt out I choose the third roadShould I worry or despair I take the book not read yet and it will make all the difference

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The Pit and the Pendulum

By a prisoner of the Spanish Inuisition The story is especially effective at inspiring fear in the reader due to it. As the doorbell rings nearly incessantly and the frigid air seeps into my living room I am all tucked up in a corner of the couch with my fluffy blanket a glass of The Velvet Devil Merlot and a book of tales from the master of horror Edgar Allan Poe I m leaving the job of distributing candy to the hubby while my teen son oversees the execution of his annual Halloween light and music show which grows increasingly elaborate each year I can t think of a better way to spend the eveningThe Pit and the Pendulum is a classic one that keeps you in the grip of horror while the tension mounts relentlessly The torture chamber of the Inuisition is a place you will relish reading about but do expect to get a grand case of the willies by the time you reach that last sentence Oh and that ending perfect

Edgar Allan Poe È 9 review

The Pit and the Pendulum is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe The story centres around the torments endured. The entire surface of this metallic enclosure was rudely daubed in all the hideous and repulsive devices to which the charnel superstition of the monks has given rise The figures of fiends in aspects of menace with skeleton forms and other really fearful images overspread and disfigured the walls Simply superb illustration by Harry Clarke Our nameless narrator has been condemned by a panel of black robed white lipped stern faced judges His crime is unknown but then this is the Inuisition so his offense could be that he is not a Catholic or not religious enough or he might have been accused of one of the many offences against God that reuire such a low level of proof The Inuisition was not only about condemning and punishing but also these thunderously righteous monks seemed inordinately fascinated with eliciting the most psychological and physical pain inspired terror as possibleThe judges pass judgement but do not tell him how he is to die If I knew I was going to be beheaded or hanged or drawn and uartered at least I could mentally prepare myself for my death Visualizing it would somewhat help me come to peace with it Not to say I still wouldn t void my bladder at the first sight of the gallows or the executioner s blade or the bristling rows of rifles all pointed at my heart Our narrator finds himself in a cell nay a vault with hideous pictures on the walls damp stone enclosing him all sides bundles of writhing rats and a deep pit that seems to be an abyss into hell The pit is supposed to be his death but he discovers it just before plunging to his demise Death I said any death but that of the pit Hold that thoughtHe swoons out of fear or from some mild intoxicant that they lace his food and drink with pure speculation on my part and each time he comes to his senses there is food and drink at his side He is grateful for the sustenance but this ratchets up the fear that he is so helpless that someone came and went without his knowledge Whenever I read an Edgar Allan Poe I m always struck by the way he puts a sliver of fear in the reader and then in progressive paragraphs continues to rend that sliver of uneasiness wider He lets loose spiders of dread that run amuck in the mind leaving tendrils of webbing behind that vibrate jangling the nerves and firing synapses until they burn out like collapsing stars I need a nap after reading a Poe story but who wants to sleep with all those fresh nightmares crowding the mind waiting to pluck the boundaries of your sanity like petals on a flowerThe pit may not have worked but these resourceful monks have tricks up their voluminous sleeves Our plucky narrator wakes from another swoon to find himself strapped to a wooden framed bed and something truly insidious is descending from the ceiling The sweep of the pendulum had increased in extent by nearly a yard As a natural conseuence its velocity was also much greater But what mainly disturbed me was the idea that had perceptibly descended I now observed with what horror it is needless to say that its nether extremity was formed of a crescent of glittering steel about a foot in length from horn to horn the horns upward and the under edge evidently as keen as that of a razor Like a razor also it seemed massy and heavy tapering from the edge into a solid and broad structure above It was appended to a weighty rod of brass and the whole hissed as it swung through the air My office was feeling a bit stuffy as I was reading this story which might have been induced by feelings of being trapped inspired uite possibly by Poe I turned on the overhead fan and as Poe describes the descent of the blade on the pendulum I could feel my anxiety levels increasing exponentially It took me a moment to realize that the hum generated by the fan was adding to my agitation I stood to go turn the fan off but then realized that since I am probably healthy enough to sustain the higher terror levels I should continue to allow the hum from the fan to enhance my reading experience SHIVERTo add to the narrator s already high level of horror is something that is part of his nature as it is of minehope It is difficult to believe as dire as a circumstance can be that this is truly ourfinal extinction Something or someone will save us Maybe even the God we have offended according to the self righteous monks will intercede As long as there is hope there is the possibility of inducing and fear in the prisoner Once a person has given up accepted their death adding and creative aspects of torture are futile and dare I say no longer entertaining Edgar Allan PoeI often think of the nightmares of Poe The demons that stalked the graveyards of his memories The screams that must have emanated from his bedroom when a fresh horror had him by the throat I can see him reaching with trembling hands for pen and paper with the beginnings of a smile turning up the corners of his mouth There are only about 6600 words in this story but I was pleasantly surprised to have notated so many great uotable lines There are way too many for one review but it gives you an idea of the power of Poe s writing I ve read this story at least three times over my lifetime and still every time I read it I feel the chills racing up and down my spine Now I need a nap or better yet a double espresso If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


10 thoughts on “The Pit and the Pendulum

  1. says:

    ”The entire surface of this metallic enclosure was rudely daubed in all the hideous and repulsive devices to which the charnel superstition of the monks has given rise The figures of fiends in aspects of menace with skeleton forms and other really fearful images overspread and disfigured the walls” Simply sup

  2. says:

    At age twelve I was given my first introduction to the world of literature by my mother who read me Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum I can still vividly recollect living through the horrors of the chamber with the unnamed na

  3. says:

    A classic of sensational horror The Pit and the Pendulum is also for me one of the Poe stories that most closely resembles and certainly influences later writers such as Franz Kafka Here we have several Kafka like elements a judgment pronounced by distant stern inhuman judges with no sense of what crime if any may have been committed and then a devious punishment that gets devious as time goes on The narrator is also utterly alone in the w

  4. says:

    As the doorbell rings nearly incessantly and the frigid air seeps into my living room I am all tucked up in a corner of the couch with my fluffy blanket a glass of The Velvet Devil Merlot and a book of tales from the master of horror Edgar Allan Poe I'm leaving the job of distributing candy to the hubby while my

  5. says:

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN MR POE?? Time conuers all; it is an inescapable fate for all men it cannot be defeated or avoided It’s a powerful unshakable enemy and a recurring theme across many of Poe’s stories I’ve seen it a few times now

  6. says:

    Book Review 3 of 5 stars to The Pit and the Pendulum a short story written in 1842 by Edgar Allan Poe As in the tradition of Poe's other Gothic and gory tales this one takes the fear of death to new heights Poe tells the story of a man facing punishment during the Spanish Inuisition a death like no other At first he's strapped to a wooden table while a pendulum swings from above with a saw getting lower and lower until it's nearly about to

  7. says:

    The Pit and the Pendulum published in 1842 is one of Poe's most famous tales of horror It does not have a supernatural element but relies on evoking fear in the reader because of its heavy emphasis on sensations view spoilerfor instance the airlessness of the cell the dim or nonexistent lighting the hissing of the blade the heat of the walls hide spoiler

  8. says:

    The Pit and the Pendulum 375 stars In this 1842 short story by Edgar Allen Poe an unnamed prisoner details the ghastly and elaborate tortures he endures at the hands of the Spanish Inuisition He begins with his sentencing by black robed judges a nightmarish seuence of images that culminates in his loss of consciousness When he awakes he's in a pitch dark room free to move about but unable to see a thing And there his tru

  9. says:

    If you see Poe's pit and pendulum as metaphors for the psychological state of being trapped between two bad choices it makes sense in

  10. says:

    What makes this one a bit hair raising is its radical two point climax curve The guy nearly dies at the pit then nearly dies at the pendulum SAT words galore as well as the best known anecdote of death at the Inuisition at least for me makes it easily an essential read Just for horror writers Here's a wealth of adjectives verbs that describe dread the absolute horror of an impending death

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