The Black Cat

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Fiction, Short story Pages: 2 (655 words) Published: February 26, 2013
“The Black Cat”
"Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart--one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man" (Poe). Humans always seem to have a dominant evil side that can slowly creep up in any situation. This wickedness is prominently displayed throughout Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat.” In this short story, Poe uses many literary elements such as foreshadowing and irony to convey how the vial ways of man can overcome their conscience. ​One instance of irony that is used in “The Black Cat” is when the main character’s house burns down after killing Pluto, his first cat. The situation is ironic because after the house burns down, and after Pluto is hung on a tree outside the house, Pluto is found mounted on the only wall left standing of the main character’s charred house. The killing of Pluto to begin with was very perverse and uncalled for. However, the irony behind the dead cat on the wall shows how cruel and evil his actions were and how they came back to haunt him in a way. For most people, these series of events would cause them to rethink their actions and evaluate their conscience. On the other hand, the main character has no second thoughts about his wrong doings, thus displaying how Poe uses irony to show how man’s evil behaviors easily prevail above their conscience. Irony is also used after the narrator cuts out Pluto's eye because the cat can see better–figuratively. Previously, the cat loved and trusted the narrator, following him around, climbing into his lap, and licking his hands. But after the cat loses an eye, it sees the narrator for what he is–an unpredictable, dangerous man. It gains insight that it lacked before. This incident also reveals, even to the cat, that the wicked nature in man overcomes the ethics and morals of man. ​Although irony is a key element to conveying the theme in the...
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