How does the "Pit and the Pendulum" relate to Edgar Allan Poe's life?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

“Some scholars have interpreted the story as an existential allegory about the human condition at large. Even if individuals are fortunate enough the escape the accidental death of the pit, all mortals are subject to the relentless approach of inevitable death from Time.”  If this is the true interpretation of the meaning of “The Pit and the Pendulum” it relates directly to Poe.  Edgar Allan Poe's life was one of the complete ups and downs of the human condition.  His time in the army and at West Point prepared Poe to write this story of the prisoner tortured by officers of the Spanish Inquisition.  After he got out of the army and quit West Point he began to seriously turn to his writing.  Though he tried over and over to become a successful writer and editor, he went from job to job.  His depression is well documented as was his drinking.  When he lost his young wife, Virginia, he collapsed.  He recovered, but continued to wander from newspaper to newspaper.  Each and everyone either fired him or he failed.  He was a strong believer in the belief of the relentless approach of inevitable death from time.  Even though his death remains somewhat of a mystery, his time was too short.

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The Pit and the Pendulum

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