The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

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How does Poe create suspense in "The Pit and the Pendulum"?

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One way that Poe creates suspense from the very beginning is by giving us an unreliable narrator to narrate the events. He opens the narrative by telling us that he himself doesn't fully trust his senses:

I was sick—sick unto death with that long agony; and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me.

If the narrator himself doesn't feel that he has full control of his senses and faculties, how can we be sure of the details that follow? How will he portray the events?

Suspense is further generated by the setting. Part of the narrator's torture is that his punishment is hidden in darkness:

At length, with a wild desperation at heart, I quickly unclosed my eyes. My worst thoughts, then, were confirmed. The blackness of eternal night encompassed me. I struggled for breath. The intensity of the darkness seemed to oppress and stifle me. The atmosphere was intolerably close.

The unknown terrors that lay waiting for the narrator in the darkness...

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