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Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, representati e o! the American "omantic #o ement and a remar$a%le !igure o! world literature& 'e is considered an (architect o! the modern short story , as in entor o! !amous horror and detecti e tales as well a !orerunner o! the)l*art pour l*art) mo ement in the 19th+century European literature& Poe,s %est $nown !iction wor$s are -othic,. a genre he !ollowed to appease the pu%lic taste& 'e was interested in psychology and the dar$er side o! human nature, his most recurring themes deal with /uestions o! death, the e!!ects o! decomposition, concerns o! premature %urial, the reanimation o! the dead, and mourning& #any o! his wor$s are generally considered part o! the dar$ romanticism genre, %oth in language and imagery& 0ne o! his !a ourite methods was to put his characters into unusual situations and a!ter that to descri%e their !eelings o! terror or guilt&'is writings are characteri1ed %y psychological intensity, o!ten told in !irst person narrati e, through the narrator he pro%es the wor$ings o! a character*s psyche& 'e %elie ed that wor$ o! /uality should %e %rie! and !ocus on a speci!ic single e!!ect on the reader,there!ore the writer should care!ully calculate e ery !eeling and idea& http233en&wi$ipedia&org3wi$i3Edgar4Allan4Poe http233www&poetry!oundation&org3%io3edgar+allan+poe Peter 5&'igh 2 An 0utline o! American 6iterature 77+78 Black Cat http233www&humanities980&com3inde:&php3literary+analysis+the+%lac$+cat+%y+edgar+allan+ poe+7889;3 Pu%lished in 1849, it contains all the speci!ic elements o! Poe*s style2 mysterious narrator, alcohol and its e!!ects , mutilation, strangulation, murder, putre!action and, last %ut not least per ersity& <he narrator is awai$ing his e:ecution and in the meantime wants to con!ess his terri%le act, un%urden his soul& Poe uses the retrospecti e strategy , the narrator %egins to tell what happened %e!ore& 'e presents his younger sel!, who was $ind and lo ing, addicted to pets and to his wi!e, %ut as years passed , due to alcoholism, he %ecomes increasingly moody and aggressi e&'e started a%using er%ally %oth his animals and his wi!e&At a certain moment he mutilates his %elo ed %lac$ cat when he !eels that the cat is a oiding him& E en though later he regrets his deed, it doesn*t stop him !rom hanging the poor animal& =e ha e a con!used and uncertain character, who is aware o! the seriousness o! his deed, ne ertheless he can*t e:plain it totally> he lac$s normal ethics and ?udgement, %ut at the same time presents hints o! reason and logic+ he tries to !ind a logical

e:planation !or the %as+relie! on the wall a!ter the !ire& @s he a ictim or a mad criminalA <his is di!!icult to answer& =hen he !inds a replacement cat, also %lac$ and ha ing only one eye, remorse and regret appears and a strange sense that the new cat stands !or his crime> the white spot on its !ur resem%les to gallows in his imagination& <he narrator tries to underline how $ind he used to %e with animals in his childhood there!ore is un%elie a%le how could he changed in such a monster& <he spirit o! Per erseness Poe saw this per ersity as (one o! the primiti e impulses o! the human heart one o! the indi isi%le primary !aculties, or sentiments, which gi e direction to the character o! #an&<his spirit is the most interesting theme o! the story& http233www&gradesa er&com3poes+short+stories3study+guide3section73 <he contrast %etween the wi!e and hus%and in B<he 5lac$ CatB suggests that the di!!erence %etween a normal mind and an unhealthy one is that the unhealthy mind uses logic to e:plain away what a normal mind would intuiti ely understand& <he supernatural elements o! B<he 5lac$ CatB lea e open the /uestion o! how much is real, how much can %e rationally e:plained, and how much is a product o! the narrator,s imagination& <he narrator e:plicitly dismisses this iewpoint, %ut the superstition !la ors his entire story& <he narrator spea$s speci!ically a%out the spirit o! per erseness that com%ines with his alcohol dependence to pro ide the impetus !or his trans!ormation into a murderer& 'e is particularly care!ul to e:plain how per ersity dri es him to hang his cat Pluto, and at the time, he understands the e il o! his crime and e en !eels some measure o! guilt o er it& <he sign o! his decreasing sanity comes as much !rom his lac$ o! guilt o er $illing his wi!e as it does !rom the actual act o! %urying his a:e in her s$ull 0n the one hand, per erseness might seem natural to the narrator precisely %ecause he was already prone to it, despite what he claims was his pre iously innocent personality& 0n the other hand, perhaps he is correct in that per ersity e:ists in all men %ut is merely aggra ated in him& B<he 5lac$ CatB is in many ways a moral tale that deals with the tension %etween lo e and hate and that warns o! the dangers o! alcohol& http233en&wi$ipedia&org3wi$i3<he45lac$4Cat4DE8short4storyDE9 0ne o! Poe,s dar$est tales, B<he 5lac$ CatB includes his strongest denouncement o! alcohol& <he narrator,s per erse actions are %rought on %y his alcoholism, a BdiseaseB and B!iendB which also destroys his personality& <he use o! the %lac$ cat e o$es arious superstitions, including the idea oiced %y the narrator,s wi!e that they are all witches in disguise& Although Pluto is a neutral character at the %eginning o! the story, he %ecomes antagonistic in the narratorFs eyes once the narrator %ecomes an alcoholic& <he alcohol

pushes the narrator into !its o! intemperance and iolence, to the point at which e erything angers him Pluto in particular, who is always %y his side, %ecomes the male olent witch who haunts him e en while a oiding his presence& =hen the narrator cuts PlutoFs eye !rom its soc$et, this can %e seen as sym%olic o! sel!+in!licted partial %lindness to his own ision o! moral goodness& <he !ire that destroys the narratorFs house sym%oli1es the narratorFs Balmost complete moral disintegrationB&. <he only remainder is the impression o! Pluto upon the wall, which represents his un!orgi a%le and incorrigi%le sin& http233www&shmoop&com3%lac$+cat+poe3sym%olism+imagery&html <he 5lac$ CatB is a %rutal story, where the home %ecomes a site o! torture, terror, and murder& <he man admits to a%using his wi!e and animals, %ut only goes into detail a !ew times& <he !irst time in ol es a pen+$ni!e& A pen+$ni!e is supposed to %e used !or sharpening the narrator,s /uill pen& Gtill, it is a $ni!e and always has the potential to %e used as a weapon& =hen we understand the $ni!e is meant to sharpen pens, the imagery %ecomes con!used& <he mind wants to see a pen where it sees an eye& Gym%olically, the man is sharpening the cat,s eye with his $ni!e& Pluto learns to see that his %elo ed master is cruel and iolent to the e:treme& 'e also will e:perience a literal change o! ision !rom this moment on, he,ll see the world through only one eye& Hot coincidentally, the reader,s eyes are sharpened at this moment as well& Crimes o! iolence we ha e hope!ully ne er heard o! %e!ore are re ealed& damage to a character,s eye signals us to a changing vision in the story& hen the narrator notices that the second cat has an image Bo! <'E -A660=GIB on it,s !ur, we might !eel a tad %ewildered& A gallows is a structure used to hang people& <he second cat wears a sym%ol o! Pluto,s murder on its %ody& @t %ecomes a sym%ol o! the man,s guilt and depra ity, a isual reminder o! his crime, and o! his changing personality& @t also !oreshadows the man,s own death %y hanging& <he a:e and the cellar o!!er some i id imagery& 6i$e the $ni!e, the a:e has the potential to %e used !or iolence& #ost uses o! the a:e are iolent, 'ere the a:e is a sym%ol o! the man,s %rea$down, and o! the iolent %rea$down o! his !amily& 0nce the narrator $eeps us in the cellar !or the most o! the rest o! the story, we get walled up, or trapped, in the story& <his spea$s to our theme o! BJreedom and Con!inement&B @t also spea$s to the narrator,s trapped state o! mind& Although he is !ree !or a time to hurt others, the story shows him increasingly imprisoned& E erything comes together in the cellar which is ?ust one step away !rom the ?ail cell& http233www&studymode&com3essays3<he+5lac$+Cat+Gym%olism+11917&html

@n Edgar Allan Poe,s B<he 5lac$ Cat,B sym%olism is used to show the narrator,s capacity !or iolence, madness, and guilt& B <he Capacity !or iolence and horror lies within each o! us&@n this story, the narrator portrays a man who is !ond o! animals, had a tender heart, and is happily married& =ithin se eral years o! his marriage, his general temperament and character ma$e a radicalalteration !or the worse& 'e grows moodier, more irrita%le, and more inconsiderate o! the !eelings o! others& <his change !or the worse caused %y alcohol, ends in the narrator,s waiting on death row !or the murder o! his wi!e& <he sym%olism o! the !irst %lac$ cat (Pluto), the second %lac$ cat, and the white spot illustrate the narrator,s e:panding capacity !or e il and per erseness& <he most important sym%ol o! the story is the !irst %lac$ cat& <he !irst %lac$ cat is sym%olic o! the narrator,s e il heart and there are many ways one can pro e this& 5lac$ cat one started out in the story as the narrator,s !a orite pet and playmate named Pluto,which is the name o! the -od o! the Knderworld& he narrator po$es out one o! the cat,s eye& <he eye o! the cat which ispo$ed out %y the narrator is sym%olic o! the narrator not wanting the cat to get a clear perception o! his e il heart& http233classiclit&a%out&com3od3%lac$catedgarallanpoe3!35lac$+Cat+<hemes+And+ Gym%ols&htm <he 5lac$ Cat + @t,s more than ?ust the title o! the story (it,s also an important sym%ol)& 6i$e the %ad omen o! legend, Pluto (the %lac$ cat) leads his owner (the narrator) down the path toward insanity and loss o! reason& Alcohol + =hile the cat is the outward personi!ication o! e erything that the narrator hates, his drin$ing pro%lem (alcoholism) is the real reason !or the loss o! his grip on reality& <here are no positi e side+e!!ects to his addiction to alcohol& 'ouse L 'ome + B'ome sweet homeB is supposed to %e a place o! sa!ety and security, %ut it %ecomes a dar$ and tragic place o! madness and murder& <he narrator $ills his !a orite pet (the %lac$ cat), and then he $ills his own wi!e& Go, e en the relationships that should ha e %een the central !ocus o! his healthy and happy home %ecome scapegoats to his deteriorating mental state& Cell + <he narrator is in a prison when the story !irst %egins, %ut his mind had %ecome entangled in a mass o! con!usion and unreality long %e!ore he was disco ered !or his murderous crimes against animals and humanity& <he =i!e + 'is wi!e could ha e %een a grounding !orce in his li!e& <he narrator descri%es her as ha ing Bthat humanity o! !eeling&B Ghe could ha e Bsa edB him, or at least escaped with her own li!e& @nstead, she %ecomes another horri%le e:ample o! innocence lost& Ghe ne er lea es him (she,s loyal, !aith!ul and $ind), and she e entually dies (not o! Bnatural causes,B %ut as the result o! the worst possi%le murderous (alcohol+induced) rage& Themes:

6o e3'ate + #i:ed emotions Mustice3<ruth <rans!ormation + =hat are the e!!ects o! alcohol on the human personalityA Guperstition3"eligion + <he %lac$ cat is B%ad luc$B&&& @t,s the !ocus o! superstition&

#urder3Neath + Neath is the central !ocus o! the entire story& =hat causes the narrator to %ecome a murdererA @llusion3"eality + =hat is realA And, how does alcohol a!!ect the narrator,s perception o! what is happeningA "elationships3#arriage3'uman interactions (@ndi idual s& social structures) 6oyalty + A pet is o!ten seen as a loyal and !aith!ul partner in li!e& <he hallucinations o! the narrator related to his %lac$ cat, which throws him into the most e:treme passionate and murderous rages& <he idea o! loyalty is turned upside+down (his !a orite pet %ecomes his %iggest enemy)&