Gothic Literature Within “The Pit And The Pendulum”

928 words - 4 pages

Gothic literature was introduced by Horace Walpole in The castle of Otranto in 1764 but it was not until late 18th and early 19th century when it started to become popular and authors such as Edgar Allan Poe wrote many tales that were influenced by this way of writing. Within the story “The Pit and the Pendulum” Edgar Allan Poe blends traditional gothic elements. This tail contains many gothic aspects that it can be said that without them the story would not be gothic. Some of these aspects are the fact that in the story is happening during The Spanish Inquisition, the terror that the prisoner is living, his mental torment, the torture he is going through and being in a dark place such as a ...view middle of the document...

In spite of the idea that these frightening rumors could be true, meaning that one of those rumors was going be the way he would die, the narrator did not let all those horrifying thoughts take over his mind and in this way he was able to survive. All these doubts if the rumors were true, the questioning of what could happened next, the struggle the narrator was living with all this things on his mind was torturing him mentally which is one of the main points of gothic literature. “My worst thoughts, then, were confirmed. The blackness of eternal night encompassed me. I struggled for breath. The intensity of the darkness seemed to oppress and stifle me” (Poe 253). This was just another example of many present in the story were the narrator is going through a torment within his mind. The persecutors were already torturing him mentally just by keeping him from not being able to see in the dark dungeon.
Along with mental torment comes the terror that the prisoner felt with all those tramps that were meant to kill him which is another traditional gothic element that Poe uses in this story. To emphasizes “A broad term within the confines of gothic literature, terror fiction is a subset of horrific possibilities… terror creates apprehension, heightens the senses, and frees the mind to plot modes of delay, self-defense, and escape” (Snodgrass). What Snodgrass wrote basically it summed up “The Pit and the Pendulum” and confirms that terror is a traditional gothic element used in this story. The pit, the pendulum and the burning walls every single one of those tramps were contributing to the terror within the tale but all these terrific tramps instead of making it...

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