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Black Cat

Essay by   •  April 19, 2011  •  840 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,269 Views

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Mankind has always been pushed to its limits and not going over the edge has always been an issue, may it be not breaking down mentally or physically. In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat," the narrator lets the reader enter his world, mind and story so that it might be felt and believed by the reader. Entering his world allows the reader to connect with the narrator and in so doing enable him or her to better understand his point of view and decisions. The narrator attempts to create a connection with the reader to try to prove his innocence, his sanity and that his story is true and quite probable.

First of all, the narrator attempts to relieve himself of guilt for his actions. Going through the story in his mind helps him make understand his decisions and actions. This obviously backfires on the narrator since from the readers' point of view it is very clear that the narrator loses at least a part of his mind throughout the story. He starts by getting more moody, more irritable and to become careless of others as Poe relates (Poe 1). He even started using violence against his wife and pets. That was just before the narrator succumbed to the demon that is alcohol. His actions from this point on seem totally irrational, for a single wound to his hand he literally cut one of his cat's eyes out. He himself claims having been possessed in that instant, as Poe relates: "The fury of the demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. (Poe 2)". He then hangs his cat claiming that by doing so he was committing a deadly sin, such a sin that he would never be redeemed by the most merciful of gods. This was to make sure he paid the price for his action but this simply proves to the reader the narrator has clearly lost connection with reality and is not functioning normally anymore. He also refers to the cat as the tormentor and the monster, these terms hardly fit the profile of a cat which leads us to believe the narrator might be overreacting or has simply lost his mind. For the end of his masterpiece of insanity the narrator assassinates his own wife, which he shows no remorse for, simply because she got in the way when he was attempting to slaughter his second black cat with an axe. All these irrationalities stop the narrator from having any credibility when trying to prove his innocence to the reader by motivating his actions.

When it comes to the narrator using the first person point of view to better allow us to better understand his story and that what he lived is not so unnatural and possible: he succeeds. The narrator walks the reader through the story step by step explaining every event by what he thinks are logical thoughts. All of the events he relates to are normal and quite common. Getting depressed or isolating himself

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