The Voice Inside: Rhetorical Analysis of The Black Cat Essay

The Voice Inside: Rhetorical Analysis of The Black Cat Essay

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In Edgar Allan Poe’s ominous short story “The Black Cat”, the main character, who is also the narrator, commits many horrifying crimes, making the reader question his morality. Throughout Poe’s story, the narrator constantly gives reason to his actions, such as a “spirit of perverseness” that led him “to do wrong for wrong sake’s only” (“Black Cat” 117). The reader may analyze this statement and relate it to times in their own life where they have done wrong for reasons they cannot fathom. Through writing such an eerily descriptive first person narrative, Poe effectively engrosses his audience in his story, warning them of what could happen when one lets their voice inside take control.
Everyone, at least once in their lifetime, has done something so uncharacteristic of themselves that it makes them immediately wonder, “What was I thinking?”. What is it that leads one to subconsciously do something wrong or sinful? Some refer to it as “the voice inside your head”, while others refer to it as “listening to your conscience”. The idea of the voice inside one’s head and one’s conscience have always gone hand-in-hand. However, they are quite opposite in how they affect one’s thought process. In the popular health and wellness website called the Isha Blog, Sadhguru discusses the concept of the human conscience and it’s relation to humanity and morality. In order for one to gain morality, and ultimately develop their inner conscience, they must have “compassion for all life around [them] and dispassion towards [themselves]” (Isha Blog). Only then will one be able to truly distinguish between what is right and what is wrong.
In “The Black Cat”, the narrator begins his story by looking back to his earlier life, and his “tenderness of heart...


... middle of paper ...


... (2013): 506-515. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 May 2014.
Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Black Cat." Best of Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, and 30 Others. Clayton, DE: Prestwick House, 2006. 115-122. Print. 6 May 2014
Shulman, Ernest. "Edgar Allan Poe: Drawing The Line Between Self-Destructive Life Style And Actual Suicide." Omega: Journal Of Death & Dying 34.1 (1996): 0. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 May 2014.
Snoyman, Phillip, and Berindah Aicken. "Self-Reported Impulsivity In Male Offenders With Low Cognitive Ability In New South Wales Prisons." Psychology, Crime & Law 17.2 (2011): 151-164. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 May 2014.
"The Imp of the Perverse by Edgar Allan Poe - Poestories.com." Poestories. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2014.
"What Is Conscience - Should I Listen to What It Says?" The Isha Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2014.


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