The Black Cat : Justifying One 's Own Actions

1576 WordsNov 17, 20167 Pages
Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat follows a man who is confessing his most brutal sins which have led him to where he is now; in a jail cell awaiting his execution. This man commits some of the most heinous crimes imaginable, but he wishes for the audience to see them as “commonplace” (137), as he does not see his own actions in such a light. The Narrator sees his actions as “ordinary” (137) and “natural” (137) and hopes that the audience will feel the same way. The Narrator attempts to convince the audience that he did nothing wrong and that anybody in his situation would’ve done the same things; this is the theme of The Black Cat: Justifying one’s own actions. In the opening two paragraphs this theme is presented in order to set the tone for the remainder of the story and help readers gain a better idea of how the story will play out. It also helps readers to characterize the Narrator, which aids in understanding his actions and the story as a whole. Edgar Allen Poe effectively presents the theme of justifying one’s own actions in the first two paragraphs of The Black Cat by having the Narrator briefly detail his sanity, present his actions as commonplace, and provide a positive self-characterization. Poe’s effective communication of theme within the first two paragraphs shows how well written the story is and makes it a very enjoyable read. The Narrator sees himself as a good person who did nothing wrong and will not accept others seeing him as anything less. However, this

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