Justify the title, "The Pit and the Pendulum" by Edgar Allan Poe.

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janeyb | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe is a story about terrible tortures. Two of these tortures, and the ones that the narrator concentrates on the most, include the pit and the pendulum. The narrator, we learn, is a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition, and is in a cell awaiting his death sentence. When he awakes from his drugged state he sees a pit that he realizes could be one of the ways of his death. In his avoidance of the pit, the next torture is the pendulum, this pendulum with sharp edges and likely to kill him. The narrator avoids both the pit and the pendulum from killing him, but the psychological effects of them are likely to torture him forever.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The "The Pit and the Pendulum" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe,  which tells us about the horrors and disgusting truths about the undergoing tortures they suffered at war. The unnamed narrator, a prisoner, was tortured by the agents of the Spanish Inquisition at Toledo during questioning. He was awaiting in his cell for the robed judges to sentence him to his grisly death and felt that public auto-da-fe, an execution normally taking using hanging as the death penalty, is drawing to a closure.

Two of the tortures which is found similarly in the title of the book is "the pit and the pendulum", which is the two dangers that the narrator is going to encountered that may send him to his death.

The pit, the first torture is the circular object in the centre of the prison is very deep, with murky water very far below and provides a function of punishment of elemental surprise to scare the prisoners and instill fear into them.

The pendulum, the next torture, is constructed like a scythe, a curved sharp-edge blade and it was making a razor-sharp crescent blade in his frightening descent and aiming towards him, trying to slice him to pieces. The fatal weapon is maddeningly and frustratingly slow as it makes his fatal and "killer" crawl towards his heart, and the narrator has no way of avoiding it as he was bound to the ground, with restriction of movement and no chance to escape from this death-electrifying execution.

Having avoided two of the psychological tortures, it affected him so much that he was literally shocked and he nearly fainted in the pit but luckily was saved by a French general, Lasalle, who had successfully taken over the prison to stop the Inquisition from experimenting with their grisly execution.

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