The Black Cat

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The short story, “The Black Cat,” tells us about a man who loses his mind and murders his wife. His actions preceding this shows even if he wouldn’t have killed her then, he would have eventually succumbed to the madness as it engulfed him. By killing his first cat Pluto, the narrator embarked on his psychotic downward spiral. It was the guilt that made the second black cat seem so unappealing. Edgar Allan Poe creates the short story of “The Black Cat” by showing us the unreliability and mental instability of the narrator using first person point of view. Throughout the course of the first paragraph, the narrator has to keep reassuring the reader of his sanity. This causes a number of questions to arise. Why does he feel the need to remind us that he is sane? It can be insinuated that Poe did this on purpose, to let the reader create his or her own idea of the main character. This could be done just to give us a sense of his unsureness of whether he is mentally ill. “Mad indeed would I be to expect [belief] . . . Yet, mad…show more content…
Or is this all just a really messed up, weird figment of the narrator's imagination? It seems like the second black cat is simply something his mind made up to cope with the death of Pluto. At the bar, when the narrator finds the second cat, he offers to buy it from the landlord: "But this person made no claim to it - knew nothing of it - had never seen it before" (3). On the contrary, it is the cat's yelling that notifies the authorities of the narrator's crimes. Had it not been for the “utterly anomalous and inhuman . . . wailing shriek” (3), the cops wouldn’t have gotten the lead on the murder of the wife. This brings me to the topic of whether the narrator meant to kill his wife. Could the non-existence of this cat have been a crucial point to the story? Maybe the narrator completely made up the cat, got angry with his wife, and killed her. With the knowledge of his insanity, anything is a

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