The Role of the Narrator in Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Black Cat'

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The narrator in "The Black Cat" Edgar Allan Poe is well-known for his captivating tales of the macabre through eloquence and wit. In many of his short stories, Poe was able to exploit his audience's fears through allegory and descriptive details of murder and madness. One of Poe's captivating, yet mad, narrators helms "The Black Cat," a tale of paranoia, alcoholism, and murder. There are several things that make the narrator an intriguing character including his psychological state, the imp of the perverse, and the effect that alcoholism has on him. Like in many of his tales, the narrator murders both his beloved Pluto and his wife, on two separate occasions, yet denies that he has been stricken by madness and is instead intent on setting the record straight. While the narrator blames his actions on his alcoholism, it can be argued that his actions were not only influenced by alcohol, but also by his psyche. For example, he believes that his beloved Pluto's doppelgänger is out to get him. Not only is the doppelgänger a constant reminder of how badly the narrator treated his cat, but it also serves as a constant reminder of how he killed it; the doppelgänger is missing an eye, just like Pluto, and also has a mark that resembles a noose, which is how the narrator killed his cat. It is the doppelgänger's physical appearance that drives the narrator to believe that it is his duty to destroy it before it destroys him. While the narrator never intended on lashing out
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