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Diction in The Pit and the Pendulum

Diction Examples in The Pit and the Pendulum:

The Pit and the Pendulum

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"keen, collected calmness of despair. ..."   (The Pit and the Pendulum)

The phrase “keen, collected calmness of despair” describes how, amid the terror, the narrator finds comfort in distress. He is so terrified, that death would almost be more welcome than continued torture. However, readers know that despite his wish to die, he will survive his torture, as the narrator lays out in the beginning of the story. The potential of death, nevertheless, creates an ominous, foreboding tone.

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