Throughout the opening paragraph of "The Black Cat," the reader is
introduced to a narrator who, because of his grotesque actions, has become
mentally deranged and very untrustworthy, " . . . my very senses reject their
own evidence." The narration of this story is in the first person, which would
lead you to believe the narrator could be trusted to relate to you the true
events of the story, but this is false. The narrator in this story is
unreliable due to his horrid state of mind and body. The narrator cannot be
relied upon to show the reader the true events of the story, these events have
to be interpreted and the reader must come to his own conclusion as to what
The reader is shown in the opening paragraph that he should not trust
the narrator to deliver the true events of the story. The narrator admits
throughout the story that his bad habits, namely alcoholism, lead to his
irrational state of mind. His alcoholism was the root of his downfall. While
intoxicated, the narrator mutilated his favourite pet, Pluto, causing the cat to
become terrified of his master. The alienation of his cat gave the narrator
even more cause to become mentally unstable.
The hanging of his cat shows how the narrator has become obsessed with
doing evil things for the sake of their evilness. This evilness is linked to
his alcoholism. The narrator was most-likely in a drunken state when he hung
his cat, which only infuriated his temper. This separation of friends had a
huge effect on the narrator's deadly temper. His temper is such that anything
that slightly annoyed him caused him to go into fits of rage.
The fits of rage which occupy the narrator for much of the story are all
linked to his pet cats. He points out that he was an animal lover in his
younger days and the feeling was carried through into his maturity. His love
for animals ended here. His alcoholism had driven him to avoid his animals or,
when he... [continues]
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(1999, 10). The Black Cat: Deranged Narrator. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Black-Cat-Deranged-Narrator-1905.html
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"The Black Cat: Deranged Narrator." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Black-Cat-Deranged-Narrator-1905.html.