English 106-112 (College English II)
Professor Jaime Gallagher
Essay #1- Short Story
He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best
Edgar Allan Poe is an extraordinary writer with many powerful pieces of work, such as The Raven, The fall of the House, and The Tell-Tale Heart. The author’s theme in the story “The Black Cat” is Overconfidence can betray. In his short story “The Black Cat” Poe explores the perils of overconfidence. Poe’s use of character, tone, and irony develop this dark tale of arrogance with adventure. To portray his theme, Poe uses the story element “character” towards the ending of the story, illustrating how the narrator believes there is no way he can be caught. IN the flowing days after the murder, he begins to feel free, happy, and secure. His overconfidence becomes evident when the police unexpectedly come to search his home. He felt no embarrassment nor regret in allowing them inside. He accompanied them in the search in a calm and collected manner. As the police prepare to leave, the narrator describes himself as too happy to contain himself and badly wanted to mention a single word of his triumph. He believes there’s no way he’s going to be caught, and becomes too confident and cocky. His overconfidence leads to his demise. His final act of overconfidence is evident as the police leave, he shows off by brazenly tapping the wall with his cane. The cat cries out from the wall which leads the police to tear down the wall. They find the cat atop the corpse, the same cat the narrator so loathed and believed had ran away. Furthermore, Poe also uses “tone” as a means to portray his theme. Poe establishes calmness when the police arrive to search the home. The narrator is not in any way nervous or afraid that he might get caught; in fact, he feels secure of his concealment of his wife’s remains. Faced with a police search, the narrator quivered not a muscle. He says “His heart beats calmly as that...