The black cat analysis. Analysis of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe 2022-12-12

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"The Black Cat" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1843. It is a psychological study of a narrator who descends into madness and cruelty, ultimately killing his own wife. The story is told from the perspective of the narrator, who is not named, and is characterized by its use of first-person point of view and its exploration of themes of insanity, guilt, and the supernatural.

The story begins with the narrator describing his love for animals, particularly cats, and his fondness for one particular black cat named Pluto. However, the narrator's love for Pluto turns to hatred when the cat becomes injured and begins to exhibit strange behavior, causing the narrator to become increasingly irritable and prone to outbursts of violence.

As the narrator's behavior becomes more erratic, he becomes convinced that the cat is possessed by the devil and attempts to kill it, hanging it from a tree in his garden. However, the cat miraculously escapes and reappears at the narrator's house, where it becomes the subject of his wife's attention and affection.

The narrator becomes jealous of the attention the cat receives and begins to resent it, leading him to commit a shocking act of violence against his wife, whom he kills and dismembers, hiding her body in the walls of the house. The black cat, which had been watching the crime, becomes the only witness to the murder.

The story ends with the narrator's arrest and confession of the crime, and the revelation that the black cat had been hiding in the walls with the remains of the narrator's wife. The cat's presence, combined with the narrator's own guilt and the strange circumstances of the crime, lead the authorities to believe that the cat was an accomplice in the murder.

"The Black Cat" is a classic example of Poe's exploration of the dark side of human nature and the psychological effects of guilt and madness. The story is a cautionary tale about the dangers of letting negative emotions and irrational thinking take control, and the destructive power of unchecked violence and hatred.

Poe's Stories The Black Cat Summary & Analysis

the black cat analysis

I know what you mean by repelled and fascinated. Thinking to assuage his guilt, the protagonist begins searching out a second black cat to replace Pluto. This is an interesting take on the traditional Gothic genre: adding psychological explanations to the mix, such as the description of perversity, creates the opportunity for the reader to sympathize with the narrator, that isn't traditionally a feature of Gothic tales of past eras. The narrator seems to have had the feeling that they the animals must pay for what they have done. On the fourth day, a party of police unexpectedly arrives to inspect the premises. Write your own short story that includes elements from this story that you are interested in.

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The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe: Summary & Analysis

the black cat analysis

Therefore the reader must take it upon himself to interpret the events of the story and come up with his own conclusion as to what really happened, and why they happened. He cried tears of remorse because he knew the animal had loved him, he knew it had not done anything wrong, and he knew he was sinning. The narrator refers to his addiction only once by name, when he declares, 'for what disease is like Alcohol! When sober he was a gentleman, courteous in any situation, and the very soul of gentility. Symbols and Imagery There are several important images and symbols that come up throughout the story and contribute to Poe's rich storytelling and to the protagonist's journey. He thought of the cat for months and came to wish that he had it back. He vacillated between sanity and insanity, between fear and horror of the cat and the impulse to act.

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The Black Cat Analysis

the black cat analysis

The narrator of "The Black Cat" remembers how his wife used to talk about the superstition that black cats are all witches in disguise, but he assures us that this is unimportant to the story. One moment he will be in a perfect frenzy of violence, with nothing but curses and vituperation even for those he loves. The opening line of this story is a bright shining light spelling out words in the sky: DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING THIS GUY IS ABOUT TO SAY. But, gradually, his feelings changed towards it too. One night after coming home completely intoxicated, he grabs his cat and in an effort to escape, Pluto bites him. Just like the alcohol, plaster is used to cover something up.


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The Black Cat Character Analysis in Poe's Stories

the black cat analysis

He gets an urge to find a replacement animal. This sudden gruesome act is not prepared for in any way. In the end, the reader is left trying to figure out which parts of the narrator's story—if, indeed, any of them—actually happened at all. The narrator kills his favorite pet, tries to kill its replacement, and goes on to kill his own wife. It has been more or less directly adapted for film and television at least five times, with several other looser adaptations bearing lesser resemblance to the tale.

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Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat: Summary & Analysis

the black cat analysis

From 1836 to 1847, Poe was married to his much younger cousin, Virginia. Alcohol is a final important symbol in ''The Black Cat. Masculinity The narrator seems to resort to bursts of hyper-masculine behavior to cover his more feminine behavior. His relationship with Pluto in particular symbolizes his loss of control over what was once a happy life. That mastery is given one of its finest exhibitions in "The Black Cat.

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A Summary and Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Black Cat’

the black cat analysis

For three more days, this bliss continues. Misfortunate Events In Edgar Allan Poe's Life 823 Words 4 Pages In the story, the narrator attacks and wounds his cat while he is extremely drunk. It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself—to offer violence to its own nature—to do wrong for the wrong's sake only—that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute. This reminded him of his former pet and so; this must have been the reason why he started disliking this cat too. Many situations from the story support this claim. Poe uses the domestic environment to amplify the horror — just as the narrator warned at the beginning of the story, the household is now home to murder.


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Analysis of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe

the black cat analysis

As the narrator's wife suggests, black cats used to be thought of as witches in disguise. The cat swiftly followed them downstairs; in a paroxysm of rage, the narrator picked up an ax. In other words, his home has become a place for the dead. In fact, the very walls of the family home are used to hide the bodies. The protagonist himself transforms from a relatively normal family man to a violent and callous man who abuses alcohol. By the time they do, the narrator has gone completely crazy, still excusing his mental state for his alcohol problem and refusing to take responsibility.


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The Black Cat Quotes and Analysis

the black cat analysis

They are often thought to be witches' companions or witches themselves in disguise. The first part of the story, where Pluto features, is set primarily in the narrator's house. He does not seem to fully realize the amount of his guilt, insisting that he is not bothered by what he has done, but his guilt manifests in subconscious ways. As the story continues, the narrator once again blames alcohol for his violence toward his favorite pet which he once loved. Some behavioral psychologists caution that things like character and disposition are inherent attributes that can only be altered only in the most cosmetic and usually temporary of ways, remaining resistant to a comprehensive turnabout even when subjected to the most extreme forms of behavior modification. It is because they want to know what happens inside. One day, they go to visit their old house on an errand, and when the narrator sees the new cat has followed him he swings an axe at it, but his wife stops his arm.

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