The Pit and the Pendulum Plot Analysis.
A list of important facts about Edgar Allan Poe's Poe’s Short Stories, including setting, climax, protagonists, and antagonists. I say to my horror; for I was consumed with intolerable thirst. But what mainly disturbed me was the idea that had perceptibly descended. Even amid the agonies of that period, the human nature craved food. A noise distracted him and he noticed several enormous rats headed his way. Down—still unceasingly—still inevitably down! Inch by inch—line by line—with a descent only appreciable at intervals that seemed ages—down and still down it came!
I reached out my hand, and it fell heavily upon something damp and hard. Long suffering had nearly annihilated all my ordinary powers of mind. I alternately laughed and howled as the one or the other idea grew predominant. He reached out and felt something damp and hard, which made him wonder where he could be. any horror but this! Arousing from the most profound of slumbers, we break the gossamer web of some dream. Visit BN.com to buy new and used textbooks, and check out our award-winning NOOK tablets and eReaders. I felt nothing; yet dreaded to move a step, lest I should be impeded by the walls of a tomb. horror!—oh! The truth at length flashed upon me. At length, with a wild desperation at heart, I quickly unclosed my eyes. Yet what business had I with hope? The Inquisitorial vengeance had been hurried by my two-fold escape, and there was to be no more dallying with the King of Terrors.
He realized that the pendulum was aligned so that it would cut him but not cut the bandages that held him.
They pressed—they swarmed upon me in ever accumulating heaps. The walls began to close in, pushing him toward the pit in the center. I had advanced some ten or twelve paces in this manner, when the remnant of the torn hem of my robe became entangled between my legs.
Sanguinis innocui, non satiata, aluit. It had cut through the linen beneath. He realized the way he would die. A deeper glow settled each moment in the eyes that glared at my agonies! Amid the thought of the fiery destruction that impended, the idea of the coolness of the well came over my soul like balm. It conveyed to my soul the idea of revolution—perhaps from its association in fancy with the burr of a mill wheel. However, the next time he looked around, he found he could see more clearly. Then a pause in which all is blank. From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Poe’s Short Stories Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Agitation of spirit kept me awake for many long hours; but at length I again slumbered. I saw clearly the doom which had been prepared for me, and congratulated myself upon the timely accident by which I had escaped. It was this—my chin rested upon the floor of the prison, but my lips and the upper portion of my head, although seemingly at a less elevation than the chin, touched nothing. I saw that the decrees of what to me was Fate, were still issuing from those lips. My worst thoughts, then, were confirmed.
I threw my straining vision below. Down—steadily down it crept. He tried pacing again and decided the room to be around fifty yards in circumferences. This thirst it appeared to be the design of my persecutors to stimulate: for the food in the dish was meat pungently seasoned. The figures of fiends in aspects of menace, with skeleton forms, and other more really fearful images, overspread and disfigured the walls. I had met, however, with many angles in the wall, and thus I could form no guess at the shape of the vault; for vault I could not help supposing it to be. Avoiding its strokes they busied themselves with the anointed bandage. Very suddenly there came back to my soul motion and sound—the tumultuous motion of the heart, and, in my ears, the sound of its beating. I endeavored, but of course in vain, to look through the aperture. It was not that I feared to look upon things horrible, but that I grew aghast lest there should be nothing to see. And then I fell suddenly calm, and lay smiling at the glittering death, as a child at some rare bauble. The measured movement of the pendulum disturbed them not at all. The circuit of the room was less than twenty-five yards around with many angles and irregularities along the way which made it more of a square than he had realized. oh!
He reached forward and found a circular pit, which seemed to lead to a vast abyss below. At a wave of my hand my deliverers hurried tumultuously away. In the deepest slumber—no! Then comes a sense of sudden motionlessness throughout all things; as if those who bore me (a ghastly train!) The whole circuit of its walls did not exceed twenty-five yards. His fatigue overtook him, and he fell asleep. I was an imbecile—an idiot. It passed in many convolutions about my limbs and body, leaving at liberty only my head, and my left arm to such extent that I could, by dint of much exertion, supply myself with food from an earthen dish which lay by my side on the floor. For many seconds I hearkened to its reverberations as it dashed against the sides of the chasm in its descent; at length there was a sullen plunge into water, succeeded by loud echoes. It vibrated within three inches of my bosom! The thought came gently and stealthily, and it seemed long before it attained full appreciation; but just as my spirit came at length properly to feel and entertain it, the figures of the judges vanished, as if magically, from before me; the tall candles sank into nothingness; their flames went out utterly; the blackness of darkness supervened; all sensations appeared swallowed up in a mad rushing descent as of the soul into Hades. While I gazed directly upward at it (for its position was immediately over my own) I fancied that I saw it in motion. Plainly I perceived the loosening of the bandage. It was hope—the hope that triumphs on the rack—that whispers to the death-condemned even in the dungeons of the Inquisition. My cognizance of the pit had become known to the inquisitorial agents—the pit whose horrors had been destined for so bold a recusant as myself—the pit, typical of hell, and regarded by rumor as the Ultima Thule of all their punishments.
Milder! In death—no! The difficulty, nevertheless, was but trivial; although, in the disorder of my fancy, it seemed at first insuperable. The ground was moist and slippery. Found in a Bottle” (1833) “Ligeia” (1838) “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839) “William Wilson” (1839) “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841) “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843) “The Pit and the Pendulum” (1843) “The Black Cat” (1843) “The Purloined Letter” (1844)
Having failed to fall, it was no part of the demon plan to hurl me into the abyss; and thus (there being no alternative) a different and a milder destruction awaited me. I half smiled in my agony as I thought of such application of such a term. In the confusion attending my fall, I did not immediately apprehend a somewhat startling circumstance, which yet, in a few seconds afterward, and while I still lay prostrate, arrested my attention. With that thought I rolled my eves nervously around on the barriers of iron that hemmed me in. In a swoon—no! As I arose from the attempt, the mystery of the alteration in the chamber broke at once upon my understanding. The Pit and the Pendulum: Summary & Analysis 5:00 Next Lesson. I might as well have attempted to arrest an avalanche! The atmosphere was intolerably close.
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