2 SUSPENSEA feeling of curiosity, uncertainty, dread about what’s going to happen next.Since we know that the narrator survives, how does Poe maintain interest in the story?Why keep reading when you know the guy is going to live?He endures one torture after another – each worse than the one before it.As we read about his torture and know he escaped, the reader wants to know how.
3 SUSPENSE What is the significance of this statement? “It seemed evident that mine was not, at least, the most hideous of fates.”(page 253)What is the significance of this statement?He’s heard stories (that he thought were fables) of the tortures others had experienced. Being in a dark room is not nearly as bad as some punishments he’s heard of.
4 How does the complete darkness in the dungeon create suspense? On your own paper…How does the complete darkness in the dungeon create suspense?Write in complete sentences.
5 SUSPENSE How does this sentence build tension? “The mode and the hour were all that occupied or distracted me.”Because the only thing he has to focus on is his when he’ll die.He doesn’t know when it’ll be and neither do we.Page 254How does this sentence build tension?
6 On your own paper…How do the opening and closing of an overhead door help create suspense?“At the same time there came a sound resembling the quick opening , and a rapid closing of a door overhead, while a faint gleam of light flashed suddenly through the gloom, and as suddenly faded away.” (page 255)
7 SEQUENCING Interrupted The order of events in a story. Chronological Time order – retelling events in the exact order in which they happened.InterruptedUsing flashbacks and flash-forwards to tell the story.
8 SEQUENCING Then is used 7 times to start sentences in this paragraph. “Then a pause…Then again sound…Then the mere consciousness of existence…Then, very suddenly, thought…”Page 252How many times does the transition word then appear in this paragraph?Then is used 7 times to start sentences in this paragraph.
9 SEQUENCING“Then a pause…Then again sound…Then the mere consciousness of existence…Then, very suddenly, thought…”What does this repetition tell you about the stages the narrator goes through as he gradually regains consciousness?He alternates between awareness and blankness, full senses and senseless, remembering what has happened and forgetting what’s going on.
10 On your own paper…Why does the author alternate periods of activity and periods of inaction?“…but when, once again, I unclosed my eyes, the objects around me were visible. “ (page 255)
11 DEUS EX MACHINA (day-us eks mah-kee-nuh) Latin term (God out of the machine)
12 DEUS EX MACHINAName comes from Greek theater in which a god was dropped onto the stage to solve the problems of the humans.
13 DEUS EX MACHINALiterary term used to describe how difficult or impossible situations are solved suddenly.Often solved with some unexpected character, power, or object that is introduced.
14 On Your Own Paper…How does Poe use “deus ex machina” in “The Pit and the Pendulum”?Do you think such an ending is the most effect way of explaining how the prisoner escaped certain death? Why or why not?
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