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The Pit and the Pendulum

The Pit and the Pendulum


by Edgar Allan Poe

The Pit and the Pendulum Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. We know next-to-nothing about our narrator, except for the fact that he's been sentenced to death by the Inquisition; we don't even know why he's been locked up. Given that, how are we supposed to relate to him? Does he deserve our sympathy?
  2. How would the story change if it were told from a different perspective – say, from that of the inquisitors?
  3. What can we take away from "The Pit and the Pendulum?" Is it simply a "horror story" or something more?
  4. Why does Poe choose to make his narrator a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition? What makes him uniquely qualified for the job?
  5. Is it a cop out to have General Lasalle swoop in at the last second and save the day?
  6. What's the most horrifying moment of this story? And at what point did you have the most hope?

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