The Pit And The Pendulium Essay

1289 words - 5 pages

Most readers know Edgar Allan Poe as a master of making a story more than it seems. Poe does this by using a few different literary devices, which create a different feeling to those that read his stories. Poe uses symbolism, allusion, and archetypes to maintain a gothic feeling in The Pit and the Pendulum. In this particular story, Poe uses the element of symbolism to express the medieval aspect of life during the Spanish Inquisition. Rat, a word of many meanings and feelings, Poe uses rats to allow us to understand the distinct emotions of pain, disgust, and power. "They writhed upon my throat; I was half stifled by their thronging pressure; disgust, for which the word has no name, swelled my bosom, and chilled with heavy clamminess my heart" (Poe, pg 4). Poe feels that this man is in agony; but not agony of pain, agony of knowing the inevitable pain to come. He is overcome by the disgust that these creatures carry upon themselves so much that he starts to understand that which they hold in their grasps. The power that such little things can behave in such the manor of living demons of the dark terrors. As the rats appeared, we know they came from someplace unknown to the author, this place must be an area of darkness. This is Poe's next symbol, which he tends to stress in this story. Darkness has the ability not only to make one think of times with candles and dim light sources, but also the ability to make one feel lost and scared of the unknown. "The blackness of darkness supervened; all sensations appeared swallowed up" (pg 1). Here, the author was overcome amazingly by the utter disappearance of light completely. When one looses the ability to see, unconsciously they loose the ability to cope with loneliness. They start to hear things, as a result of losing one sense the others grow, and imagine them to be the worst possible dream. Darkness conquers the ability to think straight and keep one's mind set on the reality of the current problem, they begin to think of the possible future for themselves. This darkness was brought to the captive man through the judges he sees in the distance. A judge is seen as one that will convict a person of what is meant to be. In the time of dungeons and castles, judges cast their speculation without thinking twice or looking at the evidence. "I saw the lips of the black robbed judges. They appeared to me white "“ whiter than the sheet which I trace these words "“ and thin even to grotesqueness; thin with the intensity of their expression of firmness, of immovable resolution, of stern contempt of human torture" (pg 1). Now we start, but still barely, being to understand this individual's fright of the doom ahead. He knows now that the judges have decided they will not stop till they are satisfied. His mind has been corrupted by their look that all reason has been knocked from him and he is only thinking and an imagined reality. Thought and true reality are used in...

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