- Term Papers and Free Essays

The Black Cat

Essay by   •  May 25, 2011  •  702 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,557 Views

Essay Preview: The Black Cat

Report this essay
Page 1 of 3

In the short story "The Black Cat", Edgar Allan Poe uses gruesome detail and diction to establish his rule of one effect and the death of one major character.

One of Poe's rules for 19th Century Poetry is that writing should exhibit one effect or one purpose, which is to scare the reader. Poe uses diction and detail to put disturbing images into people's head. In "The Black Cat" the narrator declines from sanity to madness. Poe uses detail to set up the situation where the narrator goes insane. On page 2 the narrator states that "[his] original soul seemed, at one, to take its flight from [his] body", due to alcohol the narrator loses all control of his body and every fiber of his soul is ripped out. This detail creates a scary effect and sets then scene of more to come. A slight wound from the narrator's cat releases "The Fury of a demon [that] instantly posses [him]", the sight of a demon is never pretty; the sight of a demon can only mean that worst things are coming. One of the most horrifying events in the short story was the horrid attack on the black cat, "I blush, I burned, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity", Poe's skillful use of detail definitely set the dark mood of this short story. Diction was also used to set the atmosphere of "The Black Cat". Poe's choice of words contributed to the effect of craziness or shocking insanity. Dark words such as "fiendish malevolence", "vile haunts" and "apparition: added the eerie effect to the story. Another way Poe uses diction is with synonyms, for the cat. The cat was not only the "black cat", it was also known as the "monster", the "beast", the "playmate", the "brute" and the "apparition". Poe's choice of detail and diction splendidly creates a morbid picture for the readers.

Poe enacts his 4th rule by killing the black cat; using detail and diction he sets the plot for the death of the cat. In "The Black Cat" the narrator spends two paragraphs describing his then delightful pet. But as the story progresses both the narrator and the black cat change dramatically. The death of one major character sets Poe's poetry aside from the rest, the climatic scene that takes place not only sets up a mood but it also causes drama and conflict in the story as seen in the detail that takes place on page 2 and 3. On page 3, the narrator pens "in cool blood, I slipped a noose around its neck



Download as:   txt (3.9 Kb)   pdf (63.1 Kb)   docx (9.7 Kb)  
Continue for 2 more pages »
Only available on