Edgar Allan Poe Writing Styles in The Pit and the Pendulum

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Point of View

The narrator of this story is not necessarily unreliable, but the beginning of his account is a little shaky, as he is missing some important memories about his sentence and trial, and his remembrances seem surreal and dream-like. Once he awakens in his dungeon, though, his account seems coherent and reliable. By making this a first-person narrative, Poe exposes his readers to the feelings of hopelessness and terror that accompany certain, horrific death in a way a more distant narration could not.

Setting

Fear and horror are heightened by setting this story in an inescapable dungeon where, even if the narrator is able to avoid one form of painful death, unseen captors are waiting to kill him in some other, even more horrible way. Also, by setting the action during the Spanish Inquisition, we as readers are aware that historically, the tortures we are reading about...

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This section contains 521 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pit and the Pendulum Study Guide
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