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The Pit and the Pendulum vs. The Fall of the House of Usher

Comparison of two of Edgar Allen Poe's most morbid tales

Daisy Ye

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of The Pit and the Pendulum vs. The Fall of the House of Usher

Gothic Literature Comparison

How Setting Affects Mood
The Pit and the Pendulum
pitch-black, damp dungeon cell
isolated, lonely, desperately hopeless and negative mood
The Fall of the House of Usher
deteriorating "tabooed" mansion
No lights in the mansion
mysterious, gloomy mood
suspicious, strange tone
The Pit and the Pendulum vs. The Fall of the House of Usher
By: Nikki Schlegel and Daisy Ye

Point of View
The Pit and the Pendulum
First Person(narrator uses "I")
Makes story more intense
Experiencing in person
Narrator thinks of worst case scenario, view internal conflicts and struggles
The Fall of the House of Usher
First Person(narrator uses "I")
Scarier, experience strange mood directly
Experiences from normal person's POV rather than neutral
Understand past between narrator and Usher (background info)
Manipulation of Fears
Gothic Literature Elements
Helplessness of Character
The Pit and the Pendulum
the next form of torture is unknown
if the narrator will get out of the situation fast enough
waiting for narrator to die
When will it happen?
The Fall of the House of Usher
Roderick Usher is scared of his sister, and is confused about himself (internal)
The narrator is stuck inside the house
The Usher family is slowly going insane, the house is falling apart
The Pit and the Pendulum
narrator is sentenced to torture against his will
Narrator is scaring himself in the situation (Internal)
each form of torture gets worse and worse
The Fall of the House of Usher
Usher Family condition
the nights following Madeline's burial are mysterious
As narrator starts to lose his sanity
Manipulation of Fears

The Pit and the Pendulum
rats, swinging bladed pendulum, fire
tied down to a table
different forms of torture and terror
in a closed off dungeon
The Pit and the Pendulum
Never give up hope
Using intelligence
Do not freak out in situations
Don't overanalyze
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Fall of the House of Usher
in a "haunted" house
mentally mad characters
live burial
Supernatural- Lady Madeline "comes back to life" and murders her brother
The house falls as the family falls
Helplessness of Character
The Pit and the Pendulum
narrator doesn't know where he is
He is trapped
narrator is tortured and terrorized against his will
The Fall of the House of Usher
Usher is burdened by genetic insanity
narrator begins to go insane because of the effects of Usher house
Roderick is helpless when his sister murders him
Setting Quotes
Usher: "during a dull, dark, soundless day in autumn" (Poe P1)

Pendulum: "My outstretched hands encountered...a wall of stone masonry-very smooth, slimy, and cold" (Poe P 8)
Quotes- Theme
"The writer spoke... of a mental disorder which oppressed him - and of an earnest desire to see me. ... and I accordingly obeyed. " Poe P2
"a different and a milder destruction awaited me... I half smiled in my agony as I thought of such application of such a term." Poe P 21

Conflict Quotes
Usher: "No portion of the masonry had fallen... a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptation of parts, and the crumbling condition of the individual stones" (Poe P5)
Pendulum: "I saw that the crescent was designed to cross the region of the heart. It would fray the serge of my robe... -- again -- and again" (Poe P24)
Why we chose these stories
We decided to choose the Pit and the Pendulum and the Fall of the House of Usher,
Usage of Gothic Lit. elements
Style of writing
How setting affects mood
Literary Devices
Point of View
Compare and Contrast-
Point of View-
Both in first person
Makes story more intense
Hear directly from Narrator
Can view internal struggles
Adds to the story in different ways
Pendulum-Narrator over-thinks
Usher-Narrator starts to go insane

Conflict Compare and Contrast
Characters have no control over anything
Both are trapped in the conflict with no way out
Both internal and external conflicts
The situation
Pendulum: Trapped in a dungeon
Usher: Trapped in a mansion with an insane person
Compare and Contrast Manipulation of Fear
Both are set in grave and gloomy places
Deterioration of world
Use helplessness of character
Pendulum-Trapped in dungeon
Usher-Uncontrollable condition
Usher uses supernatural, unlike Pendulum
Scare reader in different ways
One is forced to go through torture, other is mentally mad
Compare and Contrast
Helplessness of Character
Narrators have no way out
Helplessness in a way that makes them panic
Being trapped only make the situation worse than it potentially could be
The situation the characters are in
Compare and Contrast
Increase intensity of plot
Constantly make the reader wonder
Makes reader think in different ways and lead to different types of questions
Compare and Contrast-How setting affects mood
Setting creates a gloomy and mysterious tone
Entire story in the same setting
Not much is different

Compare and Contrast
Both had obvious and not so obvious themes
Had subtle morals behind story
Pendulum- more positive themes
Usher-darker themes

The End!
Full transcript