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Setting and Narrative Style in Pit and the Pendulum House of Usher Black Cat and Cask of Amontillado The focus of this essay is the setting and narrative style used in the works of Edgar Allen Poe Although many critics have different views on Poes writing style perhaps Harold Bloom summed it up best when he said Poe has an uncanny talent for exposing our common nightmares and hysteria lurking beneath our carefully structured lives 7 In many of Poes works setting is used to paint a dark and gloomy picture in our minds I think that this was done deliberatly by Poe so that the reader can make a connection between darkness and death For example in the Pit and the Pendulum the setting is originally pitch black As the story unfolds we see how the setting begins to play an important role in how the narrator discovers the many ways he may die Although he must rely on his senses alone to feel his surroundings he knows that somewhere in this dark gloomy room that death awaits him Richard Wilbur tells us how fitting the chamber in The Pit and the Pendulum actually was Though he lives on the brink of the pit on the very verge of the plunge into unconciousness he is still unable to disengage himself from the physical and temperal world The physical oppreses him in the shape of lurid graveyard visions the temporal oppreses him in the shape of an enormous and deadly pendulum It is altogether appropriate then that this chamber should be constricting and cruelly angular 63 Setting is also an important characteristic is Poes The Fall of the House of Usher The images he gives us such as how both the Usher family and the Usher mansion are crumbling from inside waiting to collapse help us to connect the background with the story Vincent Buranelli says that Poe
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