The Pit and The Pendulum Short Summary
“The Pit and The Pendulum” is a story by Edgar Allan Poe delivered in the first person’s narration. The narrator does not listen to his sentence because his mind wanders at the time of the sentence delivery. All he hears is voices. The reader is not even informed of the crime the narrator is accused of. He no longer has his senses because of the dream-like state he has put himself in. In that state, the narrator faints.
A Well-Articulated Overview of the Story
He later finds himself in a very dark room. The assumption is that he is now in prison. At this point, it occurs to him that he will be executed. The only thing he does not know is the day and the method of execution. In the country, executions are done in public to prevent other people from involving themselves in similar crimes.
As he tries to explore the pit, he faints only to wake up to find some food. He takes the food and begins to explore some more. In the process of his exploration, he falls in a pit. The narrator cannot approximate the depth of this pit. However, he feels tortured. He falls asleep again and wakes up to find more food.
When awake, the pit now has lights. However, this time, he is tied. Above him, there is a ceiling with a swinging pendulum. The pendulum gets close to him with every wing. He is terrified because the pendulum is likely to slice him into two pieces.
The tormentors provide some meat to the narrator. In the room, some rats keep moving and eating the meat. When he puts some meat close to the materials that bid him, the rats eat and break the binds off the narrator. After the narrow escape by the narrator, the pendulum immediately stops moving.
The walls of the pit, where the narrator is kept, become hot. Also, the walls are moving towards his location. The intention here is that the narrator should move towards the center of the cell so that he can fall inside the pit at the center and finally die. He tries to persevere for long. Suddenly, the walls stop moving, and the heat subsides. The narrator hears trumpets and voices. There is an arm that comes, and the narrator is saved from his ordeal. It is the French army that has taken over Toledo.