The Black Cat Symbolism Essay

Decent Essays

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” is the story of a man who battles addiction. Poe uses a variety of symbolism to portray how the narrator’s life spirals out of control due to his inability to maintain his sobriety. The story’s narrator and main character gives us a glimpse into his childhood: he had a “tenderness of heart” and he was “especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets”. The animals and pets that the narrator speaks about are symbolic for different drugs. The propensity to addiction was introduced to him as a tender child, by his parents. Once a full blown addict, the narrator gets married to woman who is also an addict. The narrator states that his wife has a “disposition not uncongenial …show more content…

Goodman Brown is a devout Christian, but on the night the story takes place, Brown is headed out to cheat on his new wife and break his marriage vows. Brown’s wife, “Faith”, represents his religious faith. As Brown leaves her in the middle of the night for his “evil purpose” he states, “after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.” After stepping out on his wife and religion just this once, he intends to return to her and God and remain faithful for the rest of his life. On Brown’s journey he meets a man who claims to have known Brown’s father. Brown insists that he is from a “race of honest men and good Christians”. This man represents two things in the story, a pimp who is taking Brown to meet a lady of the night, and the devil who is testing Brown’s faith. Throughout the story, the woods that Brown travels with the man represent a house of sex. After sitting in the brothel for some time, Brown begins to recognize many of its customers. He hears his Minister, his Deacon, and eventually he sees his Faith. Brown watches as Faith is accepted in to the orgy-like atmosphere. Brown discovers that all people are sinners, and ultimately returns to his village repulsed by the hypocrisy of his

Get Access