2 General Info Written in 1842 Author: Edgar Allan Poe The time span of was a timewhen Poe wrote many of his most knownworks.( “The Pit and the Pendulum” 1842, “The Tell-Tale Heart”- Jan. 1843,“The Masque of Red Death”- April 1842,“The Black Cat”- 1843)
3 SettingSetting: Toledo, Spain- Dungeon- During the Spanish inquisitionAllusion- a reference to a famous historical or literary figure or event. Its purpose is to explain and enhance the subject of the text.This story alludes the Spanish Inquisition.*Note: The Spanish Inquisition began in 1487 under the rule of KingFerdinand and Queen Isabella as well as Pope Sextius IV. The Spanish Inquisition tried to eliminate all non-Catholic, especially Jews and Muslims. It ended centuries later in 1834.
4 Point of View Point of View:: ~ 1st person POV: is told by a character who refers tohimself or herself as “I”~ Purposes-1.We share immediately in the narrator’s experienceand feelings.2.We know what only the narrator knows3.The reader experiences what the narratorexperiences.4. Creates a sense of intimacy.5. It limits the reader’s knowledge.
5 The narrator: our protagonist/main character NamelessAntagonist-~ his insanity~ his tormentors~ time, etc.*Note- Poe rarely has a story with a happyending. In Poe’s mind, the narrator, even afterbeing rescued, can continue with a new, more frightening type of torture…life.
6 Theme: central idea Untimely Death Isolation Torture Will to live vs. desire to die- SurvivalFearLoss of timePersecution
7 Genre: category into which a story falls Fiction- the events of the story did not happen~ Horror Fiction~ Gothic Novel: supernatural horrors and atmosphere of unknown terror; extreme emotions (anger,surprise, fear, etc.)Note: Poe is given credit for introducing themodern detective story
8 Style: the way a writer uses language and literary elements Use of Latin and French ( can be confusing tomodern readers)Minimum use of characterization, plot andatmosphereInterest in the events that happen to peoplerather than the individualUses a repeated male character- some say thismale character may be various parts of himFamous for his use of suspense
9 Symbol Pit= hell Pendulum= slow, approaching death; time ticking down Father Time= Zeus’ father, Cronus; controller of timeDarkness= The unknown; ignoranceRats= A potential problem turned positiveUnseen tormentors= personal “demons”
10 With a partner. . .What do you think really happens to the narrator at the end of the story?Which aspect of the narrator’s torture—physical or psychological—do you findmore horrible? Why?