The Black Cat: What Goes Around Comes Around

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat, The Reader Pages: 4 (1252 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Black Cat: What Goes Around Comes Around

In his story "The Black Cat," Edgar Allan Poe dramatizes his experience with madness, and challenges the readers suspension of disbelief by using imagery in describing the plot and characters. Poe uses foreshadowing to describe the scenes of sanity versus insanity. He writes "for the most wild yet homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor illicit belief. Yet mad I am not- and surely do I not dream," alerts the reader about a forthcoming story that will test the boundaries of reality and fiction. The author asserts his belief of the activities described in the story when he states "to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul"(80).

Poe describes his affectionate temperament of his character when he writes "my tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions"(80). He also characterizes his animal friends as "unselfish" and their love as "self-sacrificing" illustrating to the readers his devotion to them for their companionship. The author uses foreshadowing in the statement "we had birds, goldfish, a fine dog, a rabbit, a small monkey, and a cat"(80). The use of italics hints to the reader of upcoming events about the cat that peaks interest and anticipation. Poe also describes a touch foreshadowing and suspension of disbelief when he illustrates his wives response to the cat when he writes "all black cats are witches in disguise, not that she was ever serious upon this point-and I mention the matter at all for no better reason than it happened, just now, to be remembered"(80).

Poe expresses his early attachment to the cat and dramatizes the character changes he experiences when he writes "our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character- through instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance-had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical alteration for the worse"(81). He warns the...
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