Essay on The Black Cat, By Edgar Allan Poe

Essay on The Black Cat, By Edgar Allan Poe

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In Edgar Allan Poe 's "The Black Cat,” symbolism is used to show the narrator 's capacity for violence, madness, and guilt. "The Black Cat,” written by Edgar Allan Poe serves as a reminder for all of us. But In his early years, the narrator seems like any other man. He falls in love, marries that special girl, and they decide to get a few pets. Some of these pets appear to be quite unusual, but they seem happy and therefore to each his own. They end up with birds, goldfish, a dog, rabbits, and a black cat. The brief outline the narrator provides us of his wife suggests that she is kind, giving, loyal, and even heroic at the end. The narrator says she has "in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had once been the distinguishing characteristic. She is a highly sympathetic character, in her own right. The fact that the narrator abuses her, and her beloved pets, makes her even more sympathetic, and makes us think that the man is a complete bad guy. We can 't tell you that without hearing from her. So we 'll leave that question up to your imagination. We can tell you that in the mid-1830s divorce was a hotly contested issue in the US. Both men and women had a difficult time getting out of an unhappy marriage. Usually, men had much more power than women, especially in terms of finances. There were limited educational and job possibilities for women. In this story the “Black cat” proves to be the man’s faithful companion in his youth, and he and the cat quickly become much attached to one another.
The Capacity for violence and horror that lies within each of us, no matter how docile and humane our disposition might appear. In the story, the narrator portrays a man who is fond of animals, had a tender heart, an...


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...sidence. The narrator, however, keeps trying to allay their suspicion. Commenting upon the solid craftsmanship of the house, he taps on the wall behind which is his wife’s body with a cane. In response to the tapping, a long, then a loud cry emanates from behind the wall. The police storm the wall and dismantle it, discovering the hidden corpse. Upon its head sits the missing cat. But quickly swells into a continuous scream such as might have arisen only out of hell. Conjointly from the throats of the damned in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation, in capsule form, this utterance describes the whole of the narrator’s life and death.



















• Poe, Edgar Allan. Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Hoboken, N.J.: BiblioBytes, 199. Print.
• Poe, Edgar Allan. Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1966. Print.

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