Because of this bite, “the fury of a demon instantly possessed” the man, and he “knew [himself] no longer” (347). Since the black cat, associated with evil, bit the narrator, he now has evil inside of him. After this attack, the narrator first shows signs of mental illness. His saying he ‘knew himself no longer’ and that his soul has “take[n] its flight from [his] body” implies that he is not in control of his body and an outside power, the supernatural, is (347). After the attack, the narrator took out his pocketknife and stabbed the cat in the eye, an irrational decision showing the increasing severity of his illness.
What happens if our home is no longer safe? What if the people we love are no longer trustworthy and become violent? How do we escape such madness when every exit in the home seems walled up? Edgar Allen Poe taps into some of our deepest fears, using the genre of horror. In his short story, “The Black Cat”, Poe addresses the very real and scary consequences of addiction, mental illness and domestic abuse.
Black cats have historically represented witchcraft, bad luck, and death in many parts of the world. In “The Black Cat”, Pluto held the place of one of the narrator’s most beloved pets until the animal grows frightened. The narrator ends up cutting Pluto’s eye out causing him to become half blind, and eventually kills Pluto. Shortly after this, the narrator becomes haunted by a feline that looks similar to Pluto. The only difference between Pluto and the second cat is the second feline has a white mark on his neck.
In the short story “The Black Cat” by Poe, black cat is a symbol for the beginning of evilness or decent to irrationality. In our everyday view, cats or felines are just that cats, an animal specimen. However, in old folklore, black cats are characterized as devils, demons, and associated with witchcraft. In addition, the color black is a symbol of darkness, lack of humanity, and secrecy from the truth. Continuously in “The Black Cat,” The narrator was unaware of these last symbols related to the black cat; since he takes as a joke his wife “allusion to ancient popular notion… that all black cats as witches in disguise” (Poe 1593).
Poe wrote numerous short stories and they are also part of his valuable legacy. His stories are characterized by unusual topics, surprising endings, and often dark atmosphere. This paper focuses on comparison of two of Poe’s works, the one is Tell Tale Heart and the other is The Black Cat. In the Black Cat the storyteller is controlled by the devil rum which thus makes him present horrible monstrosities upon his cat and his darling wife. The missing eye of the cat that frequently haunts the storyteller after he killed his cat is typical of the first rival to the storyteller.
Dupin has had past history with the minister, the motivation to get revenge and also Dupin's superior intelligence helps Dupin to recover the letter. On the other hand The Black Cat has a totally different story line. The Black Cat is about the narrators downfall into madness and murderous violence, his love for animals changing into hate, which is all fuelled by alcoholism. After the narrator murders his cat, he has a lot of guilt on his shoulders. Having so much guilt he finally finds a replacement cat, which looks similar to his old cat but has a spooky factor to it.
This could not be presented more clearly than in 'The Black Cat';. Those who may deny realism to Poe cannot be very familiar with our daily newspapers, which periodically carry true stories of murders committed under just abnormal psychological pressures as those described in 'The Black Cat'; (Buranelli 76). This story begins with the narrator ,who is about to be hung, confessing what he has done in some type of repention for his soul. The narrator step by step describes how he began drinking and then to neglect his dearly beloved cat and his wife. One day when he is maddened by the actions of the cat, he cuts out its eye and later kills the cat by hanging it.
When the tale reads, “Night’s Plutonian shore” Poe is referencing the gates to hell. Pluto’s shore is the beginning to an ocean of hell, which suggests that the bird is now some sort of demonic creature tasked to haunt the narrator. The narrator is in so much emotional pain he feels that the raven must “take thy beak from out my heart”. Likewise, the narrator of “The Black Cat” has similar feelings to his own animal. Following the adoption of a second cat, the narrator remarks, “For my own part, I soon found a dislike to [the new black cat] arising within me...I know not how or why it was--its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed”.
The officers quickly dismantled the wall, and the black cat stands on top of the corpse’s head. The narrator meets his inevitable consequences with the final words, “…the hideous beast…had seduced me to murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!” (724). Guilt finally obtained the retribution it craved for so long. The second black cat acts as a symbol for guilt in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat.” The cat helps express the theme that guilt is inescapable and that shame and conviction will always follow a person until justice is reconciled.
Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Black Cat immerses the reader into the mind of a murdering alcoholic. Poe himself suffered from alcoholism and often showed erratic behavior with violent outburst. Poe is famous for his American Gothic horror tales such as the Tell-Tale Heart and the Fall of the House of Usher. “The Black Cat is Poe’s second psychological study of domestic violence and guilt. He added a new element to aid in evoking the dark side of the narrator, and that is the supernatural world.” (Womack).