Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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The Trial: The trial has significance because it is the only reason, at least the only explanation the writer gives to the reader, why the narrator has been put here alone. The trial is an allusion to the Spanish Inquisition. The whole event foreshadows a terrible punishment, and not on of a normal standard like today's but quite a cruel and unusual one.

The Room: The room id completely dark. The narrator was quite obsessed with finding the size of his prison. He described the walls to be very "cold" and "smooth". The whole reason he explores this room is to find a mean of escape. Which he doesn't foreshadowing a loss of sanity and unusual or omnious events to come. The room is isolation to the world more or less making the narrator trapped within his own mind.

The Pit: The pit is in the center of the room.

It is discovered when the narrator falls and his chin lands over the edge. He figures out the pit is very deep. The narrator becomes quite estranged at this point because he could have died if he didn't fall where he did. Making the pit a symbol of hell or a passage way to hell. Also on another note the pit is an allusion to "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", in saying that God keeps us out of Hell.

The Light: The sudden exposure to light when the narrator wakes up in the end of the story foreshadows a major turning point. Light usually symbolizes good things, but in this case is really is a symbol of trouble. Now the narrator can see what tortures him and he now knows he is being watched which furthers his paranoia. The light is also makes the narrator feel like he has woken up in Hell.

The Pendulum: The pendulum is an indication of time running out. The pendulum has a blade on it and since the narrator is in bondage he can't move from the path of the pendulum and the blade, which come closer to him with every swing. Really putting the narrator into a complete loss of sanity. The pendulum backs the theme of inevitable death because everyone's time eventually runs out. This also being one of the punishments he received in the trial. Giving the narrator two possibilities for the story's outcome. He can escape or he can lay there and accept his death.

Literary devices 1.Archaic language 2. Rhetorical questions 3.Gothic elements House Decent Romantic elements Dream Europe (Spain) Terms associated 1. Ratiocination 2. Hypnogongic state