By Kelly Sage
Edgar Allan Poe
Upon completion of this lesson students will be able to:
1) Comprehend the story
2) Determine the point of view of the story
3) Determine the external/internal conflict within the story
4) Choose single words to describe important elements within the story and explain how or what they depict in the story.
1) Journal entry: What is your worst fear? Describe a scene in which your worst fear comes true. Are you locked in a dark room? Alone in the woods? Trapped in a fire? Be specific and include a lot of detail.
Day 2: Exercises
1) Reader’s Response: 3 Words
a. Students will individually write down three words in minds eye that they think best describe the short story. They are then to explain why they chose each word being as descriptive as possible.
2) Review Plot Development Handout (as review for quiz)
a. see attached handout
4) Literature and History: History behind The Pit and the Pendulum
a. Written in early 1840’s- considered Gothic Literature
b. 1478-1808, 1813-1834 Spanish Inquisition was used to punish anyone who was suspected of not being a true believer of Christianity.
c. established by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
d. Inquisition included: imprisonment, torture, took property, public execution
i. punishment to execute
1. most common punishment was execution by burning because church was not allowed to shed blood- auto-de-fe’ (act of faith) public religious ceremony
ii. punishment to get confession
1. strappado or pulley- ropes strapped person in by arms and legs, weights attached to ends of ropes, person raised up, ropes released. Body pulled/stretched sometimes enough to kill person (www.bibletopics.com/biblestudy/64.htm)
2. aselli or water torment- person lay down on a trestle with sharp edged rungs and secured with iron band, their feet were elevated above heads, small pieces of linen forced into throat, water poured into mouth and nose to produce semi suffocation and as this was being done cords binding limbs pulled tightly to make it feel as if veins would explode. (www.biblestudy.com/biblestudy/64.htm)
3. Rack- person bound on oblong wooden frame with roller at each end. If victim refused to answer questions, rollers were turned until victim’s joints were pulled from the sockets.
e. 1483-1498- Two thousand burnings at stake
f. 1808- Napoleon invaded and took over Spain- General LaSalle seized city of Toledo where story takes place
5) Class Discussion
a. Students give examples of words they thought best described the story. What types of images stick out in your head
i. ex: rats all over body and face
b. give date, title, author- for student notes
c. Brief summery of Edgar Allan Poe
i. Born in 1809
ii. Grew up in Richmond
iii. Went to UVA-got kicked out because accrued gambling debts and was cut off from family taking care of him
iv. Moved to Penn to live with his aunt- married his cousin Virginia
v. Also wrote famous poem The Raven, Tell Tale Heart
vi. Died in 1849 of mysterious causes
d. What is the Setting
i. Dungeon in Toledo, Spain
1. dark, blackness, ground is moist, walls cold and slimy
2. pit in center of room-deep-rats crawl out of it
3. Father Time on ceiling holding pendulum
e. Main Character
ii. Language-archaic-vocabulary of educated, intelligent, formal, complex
f. What was the narrator’s worst fear? What were some of your fears?
g. What is the Point of View
i. first person limited
ii. What does that mean about the person telling the story?
h. What is the conflict in the story?
i. Internal? - fear of being in dark place, whether to jump in pit, madness, hunger, thirst, sick
ii. External? - sentenced to death, trying to escape
i. What do the Paintings show? Do they help in understanding the story?
i. View of Toledo- by El Greco 1608 depicts town story set in. Only known artwork done before Poe’s time
6) Watch Movie: The Pit and the Pendulum Directed by Roger Corman
80 minutes long
ponders-thinks deeply: 290
lucid-clearheaded; not confused (also means: understandable, bright and shinning) 291
lethargy-abnormal drowsiness (also means: great lack of energy, dull, indifferent) 296
averted-turned away (also means: prevented) 301
Students receive a class participation grade for their journal entry, along with a journal grade, (it was required to be completed in class.) They also receive a class participation grade for their reader response writing activity. The quiz given is ten questions, each worth ten points. It has one extra credit question, also worth ten points. They will be expected to know key points of information on this story for their cumulative test, on all short stories within the unit, at the end of the six weeks.