Literary Conflict in The Pit and the Pendulum
The Pit and the Pendulum Literary Conflict
MAN vs SELF
The narrator is in conflict with himself. He knows that he has been found guilty, and he almost at times seems to accept his punishment. However, this does not stop him from trying to explore his dungeon, or escape from both the pendulum and the pit, suggesting that despite the real human reactions to such horrors, he also knows that he doesn’t deserve to die.
MAN vs NATURE
The narrator battles the elements - contrived by man, still nonetheless out of his control - in the chamber. First, he must figure out how to escape from the pendulum. While on the board, his fingers are also bitten by rats as he tries to shoo them away from the meat. After he escapes the pendulum, he must try to push back against the walls, which are pushing him towards the pit, which offers nothing but death.
MAN vs SOCIETY
The narrator is in this torture chamber to begin with because he was found guilty during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. While he does not explain why he was found guilty, common reasons for guilty sentences during the Spanish Inquisition included: practicing another religion in secret; heresy; refusal to convert; and political opposition to the monarchy.
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