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The Black Cat Theme Essay

One theme of "The Black Cat" is that of transformation.

Poe's unreliable narrator undergoes both physical and psychological transformations throughout the narrative. From the beginning, this narrator exemplifies a changing personality. Even though he declares himself not mad, he mentions that he will relate what has happened, calling the bizarre incidents a "series of mere household events." In addition, shortly after declaring the events commonplace, the narrator expresses the hope that a "less excitable mind"...

One theme of "The Black Cat" is that of transformation.

Poe's unreliable narrator undergoes both physical and psychological transformations throughout the narrative. From the beginning, this narrator exemplifies a changing personality. Even though he declares himself not mad, he mentions that he will relate what has happened, calling the bizarre incidents a "series of mere household events." In addition, shortly after declaring the events commonplace, the narrator expresses the hope that a "less excitable mind" than his will examine and explain what has happened. 

Further in the story, the narrator admits that his mind has undergone "a radical alteration for the worse," and he has become "more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others" because of the "fiend intemperance." He mistreats the rabbits, the monkey, and even the dog, but not Pluto, the cat. However, it is not long before Pluto also suffers mistreatment. When the cat inflicts a wound on his hand, the narrator feels as though a demon has taken his place, and he reacts by cutting one of the cat's eyes out.

As the story progresses, the narrator becomes more and more abusive until he raises an axe in order to kill the cat. But, because his wife arrests the blow he intends, he pulls his arm from her grip and "burie[s] the axe in her brain." Then, he sets about "deliberately" to dispose of the corpse. The narrator fails to understand that he has transformed into a "monster" himself. 

The Black Cat - Symbolism Essay

871 Words4 Pages

Symbolism in Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Black Cat"

 

	In Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Black Cat," symbolism is used to show the narrator’s capacity for violence, madness, and guilt. "The Black Cat," written by Edgar Allan Poe serves as a reminder for all of us. The Capacity for violence and horror lies within each of

us, no matter how docile and humane our disposition might appear. In this story, the narrator portrays a man who is fond of animals, had a tender heart, and is happily married. Within several years of his marriage, his general temperament and character make a radical

alteration for the worse. He grows moodier, more irritable, and more inconsiderate of the…show more content…

Afraid of his master, the cat slightly wounded the narrator on the hand with his teeth. Because of the cats reaction to his picking him up, the narrator pokes out one of the cat’s eye. The eye of the cat which is

poked out by the narrator is symbolic of the narrator not wanting the cat to get a clear perception of his evil heart. Then suddenly on one morning the narrator hung black cat one by a noose from a tree. The hanging of the first black cat is symbolic of the narrator’s

not being able to except love. And finally the archetypal symbol associated with black cat one is its color, black. One obviously knows that black cat one is symbolic of evil because of its color, black. The color black is associated with the well known superstition

that black is symbolic of evil and darkness. The first black cat was the victim of the narrator’s evil and violent heart.

	The second black cat is symbolic of the narrator’s guilt. The night after the narrator’s house caught on fire, he went to a bar where he saw black cat two. Black cat two resembled black cat one in every aspect except one. The finding of black cat two is symbolic of the night in which the narrator had came home from a bar toxicated. When the narrator began to leave the bar, black cat two began to follow him and this is symbolic of the guilt that follows the narrator. The narrator noticed that black cat two resembled

black cat one in every aspect except one. And the similarity

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