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The Pit and the Pendulum
The Pit and the Pendulum
by Edgar Allan Poe
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Character Role Analysis

The Pendulum and the Pit

It's only natural to wonder about the various modes of torture; the protagonist does so, and the inquisitors must have refined their craft before putting it into practice. The pendulum form of torture, with its allegorical elements (which you can read more about in "Imagery, Symbols, and Allegory") and complex execution, stands in stark contrast to the rather crude, if effective combination of pit and disorienting darkness. Both tortures represent what the protagonist calls "death with its most hideous moral horrors" (12), but their differences emphasize the awful, extreme nature of both. And that, folks, makes a foil.

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