The Unknown Character
In the Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator is unnamed, but he is the main character and the most important character in the story. As the story develops, the narrator develops. The narrator is dynamic and makes the story dynamic.
Even though the narrator is unnamed, his dynamic is very complex because of the way he develops throughout the story. As the story begins, the narrator says he is known for his “Docility and humanity of his disposition”(Poe, 76). He says, “ My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me a jest of my companions”(76). As a child, the narrator was an animal lover, and his love for animals continued as he got married, as his wife was an animal lover too. They had many pets, but the narrator was particularly fond of their cat, Pluto. Overtime, the narrator’s character changed due to the use of alcohol. The narrator became moody, irritable, and negligent towards the feelings of others. He became physically and verbally abusive to his wife and all of his pets except Pluto.
As the story begins to develop, the narrator’s alcohol abuse becomes worse and worse. At first, his fondness of Pluto remained, and Pluto never was the target of his ill temper. But the alcoholism and rages got worse, and one night Pluto experienced the ill effects of the narrator’s drunken rage. The narrator explains, “I took from my waistcoat-pocket a penknife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket” (77). The next morning, the narrator feels guilty, but is overwhelmed by a spirit of perverseness and hangs Pluto. As the story continues, the author comes in contact with another cat that has a strong resemblance to Pluto. At first the narrator has a fondness toward the cat. The narrator takes the cat in. His wife adores the cat as well. But just as with Pluto, the narrator begins to resent the new cat. One day as the narrator and his wife go down into the cellar,...
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