I would like to know the different expressions of fear stated in "The Pit and the Pendulum".
I´m writing a term paper about the pit and the pendulum, and want to analyse the different themes/motives in it. I analysed sanity and insanity, isolation, morality etc. But I had a harsh time anlysing the different expressions of fear in the story.
1 Answer | Add Yours
If you are looking for expressions of fear, you need to look for any synonyms of fear, and any other physiological reactions that the narrator has when he is afraid. To do this, it requires a close reading of the text. Try to have a hardcopy of the text, a paper version that you can write on. Then get a highlighter, and go through and highlight any phrases he uses when he is afraid or fearful.
As I looked through the text, I found quite a few phrases, just in the opening scene. I'll list some below, to get you started, and hopefully that will provide a launching point for you to scan the rest of the story. As he receives his sentence of death at the beginning, he is scared and a bit out of it; he describes how
"I saw them fashion the syllables of my name; and I shuddered because no sound succeeded"
Here he is so scared that he is shuddering. This is followed up by "a few moments of delirious horror," and then, a "deadly nausea...and I felt every fibre in my frame thrill". So, he feels horror, and also is so scared that his entire body feels like it is coursing with an electric current, which also makes him nauseous. 2 paragraphs later, he is describing the small tidbits he can remember after he passed out, and he describes the "hideous dizziness" he felt as he descended into his prison; again, nausea is a symptom of his fear. He also remembers
" vague horror at my heart, on account of that heart's unnatural stillness,"
so, his heart was so terrified and filled with horror that it felt unnaturally still, like it has stopped beating.
So just in the first few paragraphs, there are quite a few descriptions of fear that work well. I hope that this helps you to get started, and good luck!
We’ve answered 318,960 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question