He starts out by saying that he and his wife both have good hearts and both have a share of love for animals so that got pets of many different varieties. Though the narrator became quite fond of the cat more they name the cat Pluto, which is also the Roman mythological god of death and darkens. Little by little he goes in and out of madness, which some of it is alcohol induced because the narrator specifies that he would come in from his “flaunts” about town and get enraged with every pet and offered to beat his wife as well. It became really bad to where he would abuse the cat as well. One day when he picked the cat up, the cat bit him so in retaliation he gouged the cat 's eye out with a pen.
A Glimpse Into the World of 'The Black Cat'; Those who have read any of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories know that most of them are full of suspense and mystery and that they efflict a feeling of horror and shock upon the reader. Poe studies the mind, and is conscious of the abnormalities of his narrators and he does not condone the intellectual expedient through which they strive, only too earnestly, to justify themselves. He enters the field of the starkly, almost clinically realistic investigation of men who, although they may feel uneasy about their mental states when their tension lets up, are too far gone to understand their mania, let alone to control it (Gargano 171). His stories usually have a horrible murder theme in which there is a obsessive narrator and they follow the development of the theme step by step with a realism that, barring with genius, might case a history from the twentieth-century psychiatry. This could not be presented more clearly than in 'The Black Cat';.
The presence of the two cats in the tale allows the narrator to see himself for who he truly is. In the beginning the narrator explains that his “tenderness of heart made him the jest of his companions”. (251) He also speaks of his love for animals that has remained with him from childhood into manhood. However, Poe contradicts this description of the narrator when he seems to become annoyed with the cat that he claims to love so much. While under the influence of alcohol the narrator is “fancied that the cat avoided his presence”(250) and as a result decides to brutally attack the cat.
His one animal that he refused to harm in the beginning, the black cat named Pluto, eventually becomes the target of his entire wrath. As the narrator claims during a particularly cruel encounter, "I knew myself no longer," as his alcohol-induced anger caused him to become someone else, someone he did not recognize. Even after he has tried to kill the cat, or maimed it, it comes back to him, seemingly having the supernatural ability to stay alive, and the crazy desire to stay with him.
In this particular story, he uses his diction to highlight the increasing insanity of the narrator. The dramatism of each sentence slowly increases flowing from a simple tender sentence: “With these I spent most of my time, and was never so happy as when feeding and caressing them.” (1), to a more "dark: “But may god shield and deliver me from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend.”(6). As he murders his cat Pluto, he describes it in a peculiar way. Instead of describing the act in detail, he conveys his emotions and reasoning for the offense in both the denotation and connotation of his writing. The only description of the cat’s death is “I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree” (Poe 2), which is not only purely denotative but not connotative at all.
The Black Cat: Deranged Narrator Throughout the opening paragraph of "The Black Cat," the reader is introduced to a narrator who, because of his grotesque actions, has become mentally deranged and very untrustworthy, " . . . my very senses reject their own evidence." The narration of this story is in the first person, which would lead you to believe the narrator could be trusted to relate to you the true events of the story, but this is false.
The most important symbol of the story is the first black cat. The first black cat is symbolic of the narrator’s evil heart and there are many ways one can prove this. Black cat one started out in the story as the narrator’s favorite pet and playmate named Pluto,which is the name of the God of the Underworld. And one night, after returning home much intoxicated the narrator’s love for the pet seem to fade away. That night in which the narrator is...
In his short story, “The Black Cat”, Poe addresses the very real and scary consequences of addiction, mental illness and domestic abuse. The horrific effect that these have on the family slowly unfold as Poe unravels the mind of the protagonist. While the narrator, in this case the protagonist, slowly slips into insanity with the aid of his drink, his wife silently transforms in the background, from a passive victim of abuse, to a defender of the helpless and weak. Poe builds suspense throughout the story, revealing some facts while withholding others. He deliberately leaves out these details forcing us to place the relationship between the wife and the narrator in our mind.
Poe is known for his masterful use of grotesque, and often morbid, story lines and for his self-destructive characters and their ill-fated intentions. "The Black Cat" is no different from any of his other stories, and thus a Pragmatic/Rhetorial interpretation is obviously very fitting. If Pragmatic/Rhetorical criticism focuses on the effect of a work on its audience, then "The Black Cat" serves as a model for all other horror stories. One of the most intriguing aspects Poe introduces into the story is the black cat itself. The main character initially confesses a partiality toward domestic pets, especially his cat.
It has been said that one cannot be truly great until they have experienced hardships. This perhaps was why Edgar Allan Poe was an excellent horror, suspense, and mystery writer of the eighteenth century. His life was not sprinkled with tragedy, but completely drowned in it. His use of literary devices and different techniques makes this writer unique to American Literature. As mentioned before, Poe had an unusual way of writing which illustrated the evil in humans.