Analysis of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Cat, Short story Pages: 4 (1343 words) Published: December 8, 2010
Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat”
Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic tale “The Black Cat” was written to invoke a sense of shock in the reader. This short story is written as a first-person narrative in which the narrator travels through increasing levels of insanity throughout the pages. The first time I read this story, I thought that the narrator may have imagined it all. I thought there was a possibility that there was no cat at all, and the narrator suffered from delusional hallucinations. After analyzing the essay a few more times, it became clear to me that the cat was definitely real and that the narrator told the story for a specific purpose. The narrator aimed to tell the story in a plain way to explain only the facts of his experiences, and to allow the reader to decide why the events transpired as they did. Analysis of “The Black Cat” has led me to the conclusion that the narrator suffers from madness, and the events of the story provide a detailed progression of his insanity.

In the introduction of this tale, the narrator expresses his intentions of sharing the events he went through. The phrase “I neither expect nor solicit belief” explains that he is not trying to get anyone to believe his story, and that the events are unbelievable even to him. Instead, he is telling this chain of events for his own good as explained by the excerpt, “But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul” (705). He needs to get it off his chest, and maybe writing it down was the best way he knew how. Later on in the story we find out that the narrator is telling this story after being incarcerated for his crimes in “this felon’s cell” (709). The re-telling of a crime and trying to figure out the underlying reasons for events that led up to a crime is very common for someone to do while sitting in prison. Prison is also an excellent haven for insanity to thrive, and could have an effect on the way the narrator retells the account.

The narrator also...
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