From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum

  

by Edgar Allan Poe

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(6) Tree Line

"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 that way, you can't help but understand what the narrator is going through.

But at the same time, there are a few difficulties. First, Poe just loves him some big words and long sentences. We had to break out dictionary out more than once for this story. More importantly, though, the narrator's trials and tribulations lead him (and you!) to think deeply about complex issues, including consciousness and issues of life and death. It's not as if Poe's grabbing you by the collar and dragging you along – you have to pull some weight here, too.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement