Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat

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Edgar Allen Poe is famous for his strange liking to grim and dark writing styles. Many of the features of the characters in his stories come from Poe’s own experiences, such as the abuse of alcohol that the main character deals with throughout the story of The Black Cat. Poe was a heavy alcoholic at one point in his life because of the death of his beloved wife in 1847 (Bio.com). Poe’s stories also share the same setting as his own life did, which was in the 1800s, during the Victorian Age. During this time, gothic genre was popular amongst all classes of society. It would make sense for Poe’s stories to reflect from his surroundings. The Victorian Age in general has always been interpreted as a dull, and evil time by movies, books etc. The…show more content…
The reader is told that the narrator of The Black Cat is seen to be a humble married man, who has been brought up in a positive manner, "My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous to make me the jest of my companions." (“Black Cat, para. 2). However, in The Black Cat, Poe shows us how the narrator’s mind is gradually becoming unstable. The narrator of The Black Cat explains the loss of his sanity by saying, “I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others” (“Black Cat, para. 6). He is losing his mind for no real reason which puzzles the readers because we aren’t given the real truth as to why he is going insane. We only know that the narrator blames the cat. In The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator is driven into madness because of the heartbeat that he assumes the officials can hear. "They heard!-they suspected!-they knew!-they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think." (The Tell-Tale Heart). This crime clearly took over the man and the guilt that he felt; it did not end with the murder and removal of the eye. The truth was that the narrator’s mental instability could not be escaped, which is why the body of the victim was found. This was also seen in the final words by the narrator in The Black Cat which…show more content…
Poe is widely known as a heavily depressed write because of the events that happened in his life. While he battled with his own personal problems, the constant loss of love, lack of financial compensation for his works, and drinking problems, he was a great writer who will be remembered forever (Bio.com). Through his two works, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat, Poe not only introduced madness but lack of hope. In other words, he gave the readers real emotions to relate to. The two stories carry those emotions by having the themes of love & hate, loss, madness, and guilt. These themes made his works wonderful to read and visualize. The two stories are described as a reflection to Poe’s own life and mental state over the course of his lifetime. The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Black Cat indeed reflect the narrators descended mental state. However, what if during Poe’s time of emotional instability he viewed the narrators as himself doing the crimes? These two stories give us the idea that we were reading what Poe thought was the mind of a person who was slowly slipping into madness functioned. With that in mind, the readers will also get the impression that Poe was interested in alter-egos and how these alter egos cross

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