The Pit and the Pendulum

What is the theme in The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe?

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In almost all of Poe's works, death is a central issue. Whether a tale of murder (The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart), a tale of horror (The Fall of the House of Usher), a Gothic horror romance (Ligeia), or an allegory (The Masque of the Red Death), Poe's stories, by nature of his preferred genres, are full of death. Though many of his stories deal with either the murder of someone, the solving of a murder, or the supernatural resurrection of someone who has died, it is his allegorical look at mortality, The Masque of the Red Death, which most clearly sums up Poe's themes of death. Here, very simply, death is seen as inevitable, something that can be avoided by no one, no matter what precautions they take or how wealthy they are. Poe used death to terrify people, as he was a writer of horror stories and most people are afraid of death. Yet he seemed fascinated by it, and with his use of dark and Gothic elements seemed to embrace it.

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