The Black Cat Essay

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“The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe is one of Poe’s greatest literary works that embodies his signature themes of death, violence, and darkness. Poe’s main character begins his narration of his horrible wrongdoings regarding them as a “series of mere household events” (Poe 705). However, this is where Poe’s satire and irony begins and the story progresses to show the deranged mindset of this character as he tries to justify his actions. As the main character proceeds to rationalize his crime, Poe is able to convey a sense of irony through his use of foreshadowing, metaphors and symbolism. Irony begins within the narrator’s introduction to his confession by telling the reader that he will tell his story …show more content…

The greatest metaphor throughout this tale is the black cat. While the narrator’s wife has been known to refer to the dark-haired feline as a “witch in disguise”, the metaphor for Poe is that the cat is not only a superstitious monster but it is also a metaphor for being the narrator’s own personal demon (Poe 706). The recurring events with the black cats in the story portray that they are metaphors for the narrator’s own problems that haunt him. As the series of events continue throughout the story, the cat becomes a visual element in the scene for the narrator’s recurring violence and finally brings him to the point of his insanity. Moreover, it has been argued that the cat is a metaphor for the narrator’s wife. Critics claim that the following passage raises suspicion that the killing of the first cat was actually the murder of his own wife. Poe writes: Norton Anthology American Literature. 7th. 1. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2008. 705-711. Print. Critics who support this notion feel that the “reversal is substitution in wife for cat and cat for wife” and that the narrator had clearly projected his feelings for his wife onto the cat (Amper 475). Literary critic, Susan Amper, commented on this metaphor-theory, “It is not merely that the wife was always the intended victim; she

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