The Pit and the Pendulum : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I am a high school student looking for background into this short story of terror. Not being a history buff I think I am probably missing something in the meaning. I would appreciate any point of view on this tale of horror to help me understand with limited life experience. Thank you, Josh

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2003


It is an interesting historical setting for Poe even though he does not examine any of the political or nationalist issues. It is set in Napoleon occupied Spain, a time of great atrocities and guerilla warfare. So it is more than just the mysterious Spanish Inquisition. They are after him because he is French- which means atheist, anti-royalist, breakaway from Rome, destroyer of Spanish Churches, killer of priests and nuns, etc. Believe me he is better off in this whole venture than if he had fallen into the hands of partisans. He is rescued in the end when the place falls to the French. Early 1800's. Important is his isolation as an alien, a plain soldier, a civilized Frenchman in a medieval darkness, his groping for rationality against superstition in the psychological torture.

-- Anonymous, January 26, 2003

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