He then resumes his exploration of the prison, determining it to be roughly one hundred paces around. The walls of the prison then heat up and begin moving in toward the pit. It becomes clear that the strange light is coming from a small gap between the wall and the floor going around the perimeter of the cell.
Active Themes As the narrator of "Pit and Pendulum" lands and comes to, he realizes that he is in an extremely precarious position — he is inches away from the edge of some kind of chasm.
He is afraid that he has been locked in a tomb, but he gets up and walks a few paces. As he crosses, though, the hem that he ripped earlier tangles around his feet and trips him.
This description, of the dark and cold, merges with the rumors of the dungeons that he has heard, and creates a setting that is both nightmare and reality.
When he reawakens, he discovers food and water nearby. He believes that if one is able to remember the first stage during the reawakening of the body, then the gulf that the person who fainted has fallen into will be recalled like the details of a dream.
As he loses his last foothold and begins to topple in, he hears a roar of voices and trumpets, the walls retract, and an arm pulls him to safety. He notices that something has changed and tries to distinguish what.
In his fear, however, the narrator has begun to faint into the pit. He realizes that had he not tripped, he would have fallen into this pit. The walls and the floor of his enclosure are moist and slippery, and appear to be constructed of stone.
Suddenly, the plans of his captors becomes frighteningly clear — the walls are closing in on the narrator of "Pit and Pendulum". Hitting the floor, he realizes that, although most of his body has fallen on solid ground, his face dangles over an abyss. He remarks that he has overestimated its size, most likely having duplicated his steps during his explorations.
To his great surprise, though, a mysterious person latches onto him and prevents his fall. He can plunge to death in a bottomless pit of unknown horrors filled with ravenous rats, or he can wait and be sliced up by the razor-sharp pendulum — or he can wait to be crushed by the burning hot walls closing in on him, or, finally, he can jump into the horrible pit.
He struggles to capture this thought but finds his mind is useless with fear. With all of "the keen, collected calmness of despair," he conceives of a plan. He knows that the judges have imposed a death sentence, and that the only remaining questions are how and when it will be executed.
As the heat rapidly increases, the walls begin to close in upon him. When he does open his eyes, he still cannot discern what his situation is because there it is pitch black.
The narrative examines the physical and emotional fluctuations of the pure present, leaving historical and moral judgments to us. Arousing from a sleep, he finds by his side a loaf of bread and a pitcher of water.
He slips on the floor and falls on his face. But again, the narrator shows his ingenuity and uses the rats to his advantage just in time. It was slightly revised for a republication in the May 17, issue of the Broadway Journal. Logically, he tries to determine how he originally made such an error.
He can now see the full size of the cell. He wakes paranoid about being watched and sick with hunger, even knowing his impending death.
He knows that he will be pushed into the pit, and begins to wish for any death but the infamous pit.A summary of “The Pit and the Pendulum” () in Edgar Allan Poe's Poe’s Short Stories. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Poe’s Short Stories and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Summary and Analysis "The Pit and the Pendulum" In "The Pit and the Pendulum," Poe apparently had in mind the effects of unrelieved torture and suspense.
The vault and the bottomless pit are just as horrible as the very pit of hell itself might be. "The Pit and the Pendulum" is a simple story in that it pretty much goes right for the gut.
Poe definitely wants to communicate directly with his readers and make them feel what his narrator feels. In "The Pit and the Pendulum," the narrator relates how he was tortured and imprisoned.
He was first placed in a cell with a giant pit in the center. He was then strapped to a table as a pendulum. 4 THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM who would save me; but then, all at once, there came a most deadly nausea over my spirit, and I felt every fibre in my. "The Pit and the Pendulum" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in in the literary annual The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present forDownload