The "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 367
  • Published : November 1, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
The "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe depicts, not the descent of a man into moral ruin, but the revealing of the man’s true nature through the breech of social barriers, forged by way of alcohol, and the symbolism of this descent played by the black cat. The narrator, who is also chief character and author, remains unnamed, but for a purpose. Without a name he represents every man, or rather, every man’s potential. In the opening of his story, the character describes himself as docile and tender natured with a fondness for animals, describing the affection of his pets as “unselfish and self-sacrificing love.” The main character faces the relationships of humans, however, with a cynical clipped tone, “the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.” Poe uses alcohol as a metaphorical “truth serum” for the soul of his main character. The desires and feeling held in check by unwritten social law are cut loose by habitual drinking leading to verbal and physical abuse of the man’s animals and wife. The man’s desire was power: over his animals, his wife, and their affections toward him. However, this abuse was not initially spread to the man’s cat, named Pluto. The pair lived as peers rather than man and animal, but when the demeanor of the man changed in favor of base perverseness the cat changed the status of their relationship from peers to judge and judged: the cat deems the man’s habits of bad taste and to be avoided. The plot conflict story is focused on the first person point of view that receives the story as a sense of "realism." As an illustration the narrator intends to center his main character; which is considered a psycho narrator that is mentally related to his inner antisocial personalities. The story gives us the idea that while the perverse nature of the man was an inherent part of him which went on to act as the dominate feature, the man distanced himself from it, “My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a...
tracking img