Themes Found in The Black Cat, The Premature Burial, and The Cask of Amontillado

Themes Found in The Black Cat, The Premature Burial, and The Cask of Amontillado

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The three stories have one thing in common: they all portray the theme of horror, burial and death. In all the three stories, there is an element of burial; in The Black Cat, the man decides to bury his wife behind one of the walls of his house after accidentally killing her. His intention of burying his wife behind the wall is to prevent the police from accusing him of murder. In The Premature Burial, the narrator is afraid of being buried alive due to his condition but unfortunately, he confirms his worst fear: being buried alive. In The Cask of Amontillado, the narrator, Montresor, buries his acquaintance alive to accomplish his revenge mission.
The author uses the one-eyed black cat to bring out the theme of horror in The Black Cat. The cat seems to be the cause of most of the narrator’s predicaments; for example, the man’s house burns up immediately after killing it (Poe, The Black Cat 7). In addition, the vision of the cat is seen in the ruins of the burnt house. The one-eyed cat comes back as a ghost that is determined to reveal the evil deeds of the man. Similarly, in The Premature Burial, the vast number of victims who have suffered the fate of being buried alive depicts immense horror. At the end of the story, the narrator is horrified to find that he has been buried alive. Horror is also depicted in The Cask of Amontillado by the brutal chaining and burying of Fortunato.
The Premature Burial is a horror short story with the subject matter of being buried alive. The narrator begins by unfolding various examples of victims who suffered the fate of being buried alive (Poe, The Premature Burial 3). As the story progresses, one learns that the narrator suffers from a medical condition that makes him unconscious for long dura...

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...the hope of redeeming himself (Poe, The Black Cat 8). Several weeks later when the man goes to search for some kindling for the winter, his new pet nearly knocks him down. He raises his axe to kill the cat but his wife grabs his hand and the man ends up killing her instantly (Poe, The Black Cat 11). He buries her behind the wall and when the police come to investigate the disappearance of his wife, the man unknowingly slaps the very wall that he had entombed his wife. A sound of a cat is heard from behind the wall and when the police remove the bricks, they find his wife’s body, together with the one-eyed black cat (Poe, The Black Cat 13).

Works Cited

Poe, Edgar A. The Cask of Amontillado. Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 2008. Print.
---. The Premature Burial. Raleigh, NC: Hayes Barton Press, 1981. Print.
---. The Black Cat. London: Plain Label Books. Print.

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