Dilemma in "The Pit and the Pendulum"

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Dilemma in The Pit and the Pendulum

Example



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Activity Overview


Often in literature, characters have to make important choices, even when the outcomes are equally unpleasant. This is called a dilemma, and many students will be able to identify with being stuck “between a rock and a hard place”, much like characters are in their various conflicts in a story. Have students analyze the dilemma the narrator encounters in “The Pit and the Pendulum” as they read and speculate on the potential outcomes of the narrator’s choices. Have them incorporate their findings into a storyboard like the example below.


Introduction

The narrator has escaped from the pendulum, but he sees that at the moment of his escape, the pendulum stops swinging and is drawn back up to the ceiling. He knows that he is being watched now. He begins to notice the red-hot smell of the burning walls, and the movement of the walls as they change the shape of the chamber. He is afraid of the pit, but embracing the walls will also kill him.


Problem 1

If the narrator tries to push back against the walls or run into them, he will die, but he won’t die by falling into a dark pit.


Problem 2

If the narrator allows the walls to push him toward the pit, ultimately he will have no other choice but to fall over the side.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that analyzes a dilemma that a character is facing in "The Pit and the Pendulum".


  1. Identify the problem and depict it in the "Introduction" cell.
  2. Show and discuss the character's possible choices under "Problem 1" and "Problem 2".
  3. Save and submit the assignment.

Dilemma Template 16x9

Template


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Rubric

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