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The Tormented Life of Edgar Allan Poe


The Tormented Life of Edgar Allan Poe The Short Life 1809-1849 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Tormented Life of Edgar Allan Poe

The Tormented Life of Edgar Allan Poe
The Nightmarish Mind of Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Short Life 1809-1849

  • Background
  • Born 1809-1849
  • His mother died during his youth and his father
    abandoned them
  • After the death of his grandmother married his
    13-year-old cousin, Virginia in 1835
  • Virginia died in 1847
  • Poe died in 1849

  • Education of Poe
  • Entered into and dropped from both the University
    of Virginia and West Point
  • Ran into serious debt and started borrowing
    money, gambling and getting deeper
  • into debt

  • Writing Style of Poe
  • Wrote in a Gothic Style
  • Deep and intense
  • Explorations of ? world of dream and of nightmare
  • In his stories the past is darker, m?r? ominous
    and oppresses his heroes and heroines

  • Poes Characters
  • Many of his characters ?r? filled with madness
  • Obsessed with the irrational side of the mind

  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Cask of Amontillado
  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • The Raven
  • Lenore
  • Famous Works
  • Short Stories
  • Poems

Edgar Allan Poe's
The Pit
and the
  • General Information
  • "The Pit and the Pendulum" is a short story about
    the horrors of undergoing torture.
  • Poe completed it in August 1842 and published it
    the following year.

  • General Information
  • Setting
  • City of Toledo in central Spain during the time
    of the Inquisition.
  • The Inquisition was established in 1478 to combat
    any opinion against Catholicism
  • The Inquisition often used its power to
    intimidate or eliminate its political opponents,
    as well as to identify and punish religious

Literary Elements
  • Poe carefully makes every word, every phrase,
    every sentence in the story contribute to the
    overall effect of horror and suspense
  • figure of speech involving repetition of a
    consonant soundoccurs
  • In their voracity, the vermin frequently fastened
    their sharp fangs in my fingers.
  • Word Choice
  • Alliteration

Literary Elements
  • Simile / Metaphor / Personification
  • Poe uses comparisons to bring his images to life.
    Here are some examples of his comparisons in
  • And there stole into my fancy, like a rich
    musical note, the thought of what sweet rest
    there must be in the grave. (Simile) 
  • In the centre yawned the circular pit from whose
    jaws I had escaped. (Metaphor Personification) 

  • Themes and Focus
  • Mans fear
  • Mans struggle to survive
  • The mental psychology of torture
  • The physical toll of torture
  • The treatment of those who are perceived to break
    societys rules

  • Summary and Plot Overview
  • An unnamed narrator opens the story by revealing
    that he has been sentenced to death during the
    time of the Inquisition
  • The Inquisition was an institution of the
    Catholic government in fifteenth- and
    sixteenth-century Spain that persecuted all
    Protestants and heretical Catholics.

  • Summary and Plot Overview
  • To the narrators dismay he discovers in the
    center of his pitch dark prison cell is a
    circular pit.
  • He later is tied to a wooden board. Above him
    swings a great pendulum heading to his heart.
    Below him, from the pit comes something almost
    equally repulsive.
  • Like a rat in a cage, the narrator must make
    decisions that may or may not mean his survival.

  • Character Analysis
  • Narrator
  • Inquisitors
  • Told from a first person point of view, the
    unnamed person tells of the torture inflicted on
    him by the Spanish Inquisition.
  • He identifies himself as a person who refuses to
    conform to established rules and refuses to yield
    to the established authority. 
  • Black-robed judges who sentence the narrator.  
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