Edgar Allan Poe's Use of Descriptive Language in The Pit and the Pendulum

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Edgar Allan Poe's Use of Descriptive Language in The Pit and the Pendulum Edgar Allan Poe has been known for writing stories of mystery and horror. He has composed poems dealing with the occult. He favors those themes and ideas that people shy away from, death, pain, suffering, torture, terror, and fear. His gothic stories burn fright into the hearts of the reader or leave them with a sense of remorse for Poe's poor and unfortunate characters. Not many people have ever thought about how Poe goes about conveying these feelings to his readers and why it is so effective. Poe uses an abundance of descriptive language in order to convey the feelings of his choice onto his reader. This can be seen quite blatantly in "The…show more content…
The wall of the dungeon then become red-hot and begin to flatten in order to drive the narrator into the pit. Just as the walls were about to push him into the pit, he is rescued by the French General LaSalle. Throughout the story, Poe creates feelings of confusion, fear, terror, and suspense through his use of descriptive language. Author Paul Patterson says, "Descending into the story of "The Pit and the Pendulum", we are faced with emotions of claustrophobia, victimization, restriction, paranoia, and a overall sense of hopelessness ending in surprising liberation." (http://www.watershed.winnipeg.mb.ca/popitnpendulum.html, 1-2) All of these things occur throughout the story but can seen at the end of the story as the walls of the prison are closing in on the narrator. " 'Death,' I said, 'any death but that of the pit!'...At length for my seared and writhing body there was no longer an inch of foothold on the firm floor of the prison. I struggled no more, but the agony of my soul found vent in one loud, long, and final scream of despair. I felt that I tottered upon the brink- I averted my eyes-...An outstretched arm caught my own as I fell, fainting, into the abyss."(Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, 312) As you can see, Poe has the narrator terrified of death in the pit. At the same time he has made the reader assure himself that this man will be cast into the pit. The narrator's rescue at the end comes as an unexpected turn for

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