The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe: A Cat Causes a Man to Lose His Sanity

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story, Cat Pages: 3 (1080 words) Published: November 7, 2011
The short story “The Black Cat”, by Edgar Allan Poe is an American classic about a man that loses his sanity because of one cat. Poe wrote the book after his wife and his mother’s death. The narrator is very self destructive by killing or hurting all things that loved him, alcoholism, and recognizes his self destructiveness. According the narrator, it's the cat's fault that the domestic scene of the story ultimately turned so foul. Alcoholism was a huge factor in the narrator's self destruction. He spent and wasted hours at the local pubs. Alcoholism drove him to stab an eye out of his cat, Pluto by saying, "My disease grew upon me for what disease is like alcohol! And at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old and consequently somewhat peevish even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper." It was indeed the alcoholism that ended up forcing the narrator to kill Pluto as well. Finding the second cat was provoked by alcohol too in him saying, "My attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of Gin, or of Rum." And finally, alcoholism drove him to killing his wife with an axe. The narrator killing and/or hurting all things that loved him cause him to self destruct by removing what last bit of sanity he had. When the narrator killed his first cat Pluto, it was to prevent Pluto from reminding him of the hideous act he committed on it, "One morning, in cold blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; - hung it with tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my head; - Hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offense." On the other hand, in describing the murder of his wife and the second cat was very different. He had found a cat and said he wants to keep it because it reminded him so much of Pluto. “It was a black car, a very large one fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling...
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