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Literary analysis of the pit and the pendulum

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17 September 2013
The Pit and the Pendulum
There are often many people who are falsely excused every day, and are punished for their false accusations. This happened numerous times during the Spanish Inquisition to seize the converts’ wealth and destroy their influence. In “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe, Poe shows the falsely accused life of the narrator. The author helps support this main plot line through the using the use of imagery through the symbolism of the Pit, the rats, and the General.

First, Poe uses imagery through the Pit symbolizing the narrator’s Hell. In the story, Poe writes, “To the victims of its tyranny, there was a choice of death with its direst physical agonies or death with its most hideous moral horrors.” Throughout the bible, prophets say that living the life as a sinner and going to Hell is the easiest way, while in the story Poe says that the Pit is the easiest way to die. The narrator also says that he is being carried down to Hell which symbolizes the pit and foreshadows to the pit later in the story.

The next use of symbolism is the bats being a symbol as demons. The devils “animal” is commonly known as a bat, but the rat is considered an animal of death. The way he symbolizes them straight to demons is how they come up out of the pit. The pit resembles Hell, which in turn makes the rats demons coming up from Hell. Poe also refers to the rats as the most hideous of fates.

In all stories there is some type of savior or someone who conquers. This particular stories savior is General Lasalle. He conquered the Spanish and saved the speaker. Another way he is portrayed as the savior is the army that he brings, and the trumpets sounding. This story explains all stages of life and the life after death.

Poe helps support the story with imagery and symbolism of the pit, the rats, and General Lasalle. This piece of literature helps portray the troubles of life, time, demons in our life, our own Hell, and our own savior and judgment day. People need to take this short story as an example and determine their own demons and their hardships of life.

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