please help me i need a 1 paragraph summary on the Pit and the Pendulum ASAP so please help me : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

i need a one paragraph summary on The Pit and the Pendulum.. my teacher is really mean and everything has to be right in her eyes and the paragraph i wrote she wont acessept it because it is not up to her standards so please help me

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2003


try, or look up "Edgar Allan Poe, The Pit and the Pendulum, summary" or "Edgar Allan Poe, The Pit and the Pendulum, synopsis" at

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2003

Obviously you have already wasted some time in your teacher's eyes. It is better to teach yourself how to get to the gist of a story- any story, but Poe in particular. He does make it easy by reducuing things, tight structures and unity of all elements. Even those philosophical rambles help at least for emotional flavor if you don't get the theory or wording.

Don't be daunted by Poe's references or intellectual, poetic style. Setting the mood and moving the plot along are the most important. If you follow it yourself without forgetting the PRIMARY emotional effect it won't become a lifeless skeleton of the story.

The Frenchman is a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition in Napoleon occupied France. Torture is to be expected, but the assault rather in on the extreme depths of his mind. First the scene with monks, soundless with candlelight. Then the darkness of the maze dangers to navigate. Then the loss of movement strapped like a corpse to the table as the pendulum of Time descends. Each test he struggles from madness to a rational solution and temporary escape. Free to move having defeated the pendulum by allowing rats to eat his bonds(playing dead, controlling his fear and pain)he now is faced with the ultimate no escape dilemma, mocking light returning in the fiery closing in walls with symbols of hell toward the abyss of nameless horror. But having regained rationality, movement and light he determines to use his will to choose the wall death and die undefeated. Then in that hopeless situation even Poe can't think out of except for the mental, moral victory comes the sudden rescue by the French, almost an unimportant anticlimax after the peak of horror and triumph just experienced.

Don't quote me please. Your teach would just get justifibly even angrier. In Poe follow the use of light, space, sound and the emotional ride, no matter what the details or the philosophical explanations. Ti ein symbols and anything else that joins together for the effect to deepen or suggest things thast add to its unity or power of singular effect.

Being put off because Poe is an eighteenth century genius who shows off all his knowledge and complex talent is not necessary. Poe was usually writing to be appreciated simply(if too often wrongly or shallow by the public) and at the same time bring all things together. He leaves out overblown similes and flowery sensationalism. You can read his foreign language quotes without comprehending them and still get the flaor or feeling he intends. Not your average spook story writer but refuse to be intimidated. VERY often it is a tease anyway. Poe's real pride is in the beauty and depth of his art and his underpinning technique. And he keeps it short with punch. That is another subject, another paper.

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2003

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