The Pit And The Pendulum Gothic Elements

1081 Words5 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe, by some, considered the king of gothic literature, was one of the founding fathers of gothic literature in the 19th century, and as well as the mastermind behind the truly chilling short horror story, “The Pit and the Pendulum”. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Pit and the Pendulum,” Poe uses the fear of death to bring out intense emotion, and the constant fear that his life is out of his hands and that he is doomed to die a slow and painful death. Poe takes great care in describing everything in the story, building suspense, even addressing and bringing attachment to the character, setting an ominous, dark mood throughout the story. With these key gothic elements in play, Poe makes his readers feel strongly for the…show more content…
“At length, with a wild desperation at heart, I quickly unclosed my eyes. My worst thoughts, then, were confirmed. The blackness of eternal night encompassed me. I struggled for breath. The intensity of the darkness seemed to oppress and stifle me” H.P. Lovecraft, a gothic literature writer, addresses the fear of the unknown as, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”, Put a child in a dark room, and they may express concern, due to the fact, that something may be lurking in the shadows; Now give that same child a light so as to be able to observe the surrounding area, they will sleep soundly. We fear what we cannot understand, just as children fear the dark, Poe has his character thrown into a situation of deep confusion and heavy darkness, where he even doubts his own sentience. Poe uses the fear of the unknown to evoke horror and the feeling of suspense to “The Pit and the Pendulum” efficiently and effectively by targeting the root of fear itself; the unknown. “Then the mere consciousness of existence, without thought – a condition which lasted long. Then, very suddenly, thought, and shuddering terror, and earnest endeavor to comprehend my true state.” Poe uses the detailed outlook and description of everything his characters feel and experience, to communicate the feeling of fear and horror to his readers. Poe’s special twist on the gothic element of fear and horror, adds a dark, metacognitive feel to “The Pit and the Pendulum” which makes you, the reader, consider what humanity is, as a whole, truly afraid of. Poe understands what the human race truly fears, and uses that as an advantage, everything his character feels, is so
Open Document