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Theme Of Perverseness In Edgar Allan Poe

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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. Poe’s childhood was dark and full of misfortunes. To begin with, he was an orphan due to tuberculosis taking both of his parents and later his own brother as well as his first wife. Therefore, he was adopted by his uncle John Allan but after Poe started having financial conflicts,…show more content…
The way this word is defined in this tale is how human are aware that the act is wrong, yet they decide to go forward with that decision. That’s when the spirit of perverseness wins, when the individual would rather do the contrary from the good, a wicked act with self-awareness. In The Black Cat, the narrator is an animal lover, yet with time he ends up maltreating each and one of them, except his favorite pet; his cat Pluto. The narrator identifies this as a disease which he also compares it to alcohol. Consequently, the narrator then loses his temper one night while being intoxicated and violently removes Pluto’s eye. Shortly after this incident, the narrator decides to hang Pluto from a tree. Although the narrator did feel a sense of remorse at the beginning of this so-called disease, the spirit of perverseness comes into play. Poe mentions, “Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart-one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not?” (Poe 696-697). The narrator begins to become immune to the feeling of guilt, yet a new cat that resembles Pluto is the delusional form of guilt that lingers around the narrator which drives him insane. After discovering Pluto’s double, which he believes is Pluto itself, he tries to get rid of it with an axe and fails. As a result to his fury against this defenseless animal, he ends up murdering his wife with the axe, and rather than finding a solution, he hides her away knowing it is an unlawful
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