How does the man free himself in "The Pit and the Pendulum"?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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This is one of the best and most innovative parts of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Pit and the Pendulum." When the narrator awakes once again, he finds himself tied down; above him he sees something swinging back and forth. He finally realizes it is a giant blade, slowly inching down toward him. Just before the blade reaches his chest, the man realizes that if he frees his hands, he can escape. He takes some of the remaining meat and rubs it on the bandages which bind his hands. He knows that the rats will be attracted to it. Sure enough, hundreds of rats swarm to the bandages; they bite through it, the man frees his hands, and heĀ evades the deadly pendulum.

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