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The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum

by Edgar Allan Poe

Fear Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

I saw, to my horror, that the pitcher had been removed. I say to my horror – for I was consumed with intolerable thirst. This thirst it appeared to be the design of my persecutors to stimulate – for the food in the dish was pungently seasoned. (17)

In his agitated state, our narrator seems to find everything – even something as basic as thirst – to be horrible.

Quote #5

I now observed, with what horror it is needless to say, that its nether extremity was formed of a crescent of glittering steel, about a foot in length from horn to horn; the horns upward, and the under edge evidently as keen as that of a razor. Like a razor also it seemed massy and heavy, tapering from the edge into a solid and broad structure above. It was appended to a weighty rod of brass, and the whole hissed as it swung through the air. (20)

"…with what horror it is needless to say…" What horror, indeed! Poe's descriptions are so evocative as to make such proclamations unnecessary. So. Stinkin'. Scary.

Quote #6

Yet, for a wild moment, did my spirit refuse to comprehend the meaning of what I saw. At length it forced – it wrestled its way into my soul – it burned itself in upon my shuddering reason. O for a voice to speak! – oh, horror! – oh, any horror but this! With a shriek I rushed from the margin and buried my face in my hands – weeping bitterly. (36)

Here we see an intense mental progression – a struggle, a losing struggle, against fear.

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