The Themes of Death and Hope in the y The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

The two themes of death and hope are interlaced with one another and are shown clearly throughout Edgar Allan Poe’s story The Pit and the Pendulum. The thought of hope and the actions that hope brings are what overcomes the thoughts and actions of death. From the first line of his story the fabricator is thinking about death. Although he himself is not dead he knows that his sentence is death, that his death is inevitable. Throughout the story as he is receiving his death sentences such as the pit and the pendulum, there are various moments when he accepts his foreseeable death and even wishes it upon himself.

His thoughts are filled with the possible comfort of his death. “And then there stole in my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.” (paragraph 1) but soon his hope is rekindled and he tries desperately to escape the terror that is death.

With every thought of death there is a spark of hope a chance to escape the punishment of death. Hope and death walk hand in hand through this story as he faces each opportunity of demise. The struggle he has with the fear of death and the comfort of hope radiates through his thoughts and actions. This hope is what saves our storyteller each time. Every time he wants to give up he cannot deny the undeniable opportunity of hope. “it was hope that prompted the nerve to quiver-the frame to shrink.

Get quality help now
Sweet V

Proficient in: Edgar Allan Poe

4.9 (984)

“ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

It was hope- the hope that triumphs on the rack- that whispers to the death condemned even in the dungeon of inquisition.” Strapped down to the table beneath the killer known as the pendulum hope is what is whispered into the victims ear causing him to jump into action and triumph over his oncoming death receiving freedom.

The two themes of death and hope that are interlaced throughout The Pit and the Pendulum show how hope can be found in any situation. The thought of death is constantly replaced by the hope of life. Edgar Allan Poe’s story The Pit and the Pendulum expounds the idea that even in the darkest and hopeless of situations such as death being just a breath away, there is always hope. As the narrator lays beneath the pendulum he wishes for death and calmly waits for its arrival. But as he waits the thought of waiting for death strikes terror in his body and he replaces it with the hope of his possible escape. The thoughts of hope overcome his thoughts of death pushing them aside and replacing them. The first line of Edgar Allen Poe’s story contains the Narrator’s thoughts of death and doom but the final line contains his hope and safety and freedom as he is rescued from death.

Cite this page

The Themes of Death and Hope in the y The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe. (2022, May 10). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7