Could You Survive “The Pit And The Pendulum”?


thEvery October, I pull out the Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe that my mother gave me so I can immerse myself in the ominous fall atmosphere I associate with Halloween. To me, Poe is the original King of Horror (sorry Stephen King). Each time I read a Poe work, I’m caught up in the elegant and intelligent wording that makes these pieces so accessible to modern audiences. His short stories are not just very well written, but the words create a dark and eerie setting that demands that something awful will happen. With The Pit And The Pendulum, every sentence pulled me further and further into the story. The suspense built so well, that the last few pages, I found myself reading faster and faster to see what would happen to the imprisoned protagonist. With the descending metal pendulum swinging closer and closer to our bound man sentenced to death, I was dying to know whether he would break free. The symbolism and dark themes of hell and redemption that Poe used to create this masterpiece were so impressive. The imagery that Poe’s words evoked in my mind created a creepy tale perfect for impending Halloween!

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