The Black Cat Essay Research Paper A — страница 3

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throughout the story when he talks a lot about the cat and speaks little about his wife, suggesting that he doesn t care much about his wife and he could hurt her without remorse. The introduction of the black cat itself foreshadows a great deal of what is going to happen. The cat, representing bad luck, foreshadows that in the coming of events bad things are going to take place. The cat s name, Pluto also foreshadows what is going to happen in the story. His name foreshadows the narrators decent into the murky regions of alcoholism, self-deception, and violence. A further place foreshadowing is used is when the appearance of a hung cat is left on the remaining wall after the house has been burnt. This hints that he will forever be haunted by how he killed Pluto. The gallows on

the breast of the second cat also play a part in foreshadowing because they implicate to the reader that the narrator will be hung in the future for the crime of killing his wife. Prinsky states that foreshadowing is used in the crime scene, a cellar, which reminds readers of the name of the first black cat and foreshadows the narrators descent into the darkness of irrationality, of evil, and the forces of the unconscious mind (234). The Black Cat is a story that has puzzled critics for some time because there is no true theme that can be found in the story. There are many themes one can get out of this story many of which have to do with those of psychological study (Womack). As Prinsky said: The story has many themes, most of them relating to human psychology and several in the

form of contraries: reason versus the irrational; human being versus animal; self-knowledge versus self deception; sanity versus madness; love versus hate; good versus evil; the power of obsession and guilt; and the sources or motives of crime. As in many of his works, Poe is interested in the borderline between opposites and how it may be crossed (232). The good versus evil theme suggested by Prinsky in my opinion can be interpreted in two different ways. One, in which case the narrator thinks of himself as the good battling the evil-the cat. This theme I think could also be the same but the good being the wife and the evil being the narrator. Another of Prinsky themes can also be interpreted in two different ways. Love versus hate, in which the love the narrator has towards the

cat turns into hate. It can be viewed in another way in which the love the cat has for the narrator turns into the hate towards him after he starts drinking. Another theme I believe could be that the power of obsession and guilt could drive a person mad. In this case the power of obsession the narrator has towards the cat and guilt for what he did to the cat drove the narrator so mad that he killed it even though he really loved it. An additional theme can be stated as: are people truly mad or are they driven into madness? This theme could be difficult because in the beginning of the story we think the narrator is mad when we see how he is an obsessive narrator but we also see how he is loving towards his animals questioning our first thoughts. His character does not change until

he starts drinking, causing him to become mad, so this could explain how he was driven into madness. Davidson wrote that, The Black Cat is pointedly addressed to this theme of perverseness… this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself-to offer violence to its own nature- to do wrong for wrong s sake only is represented in the story (190). Contrary to this theme is when Gargano implies that if in fact it was a theme of perverseness it is flawed when the narrator proudly boasts of his self-control. In my view the most appropriate theme for this story is that the Fiend Intemperance could be one s downfall as it was for the narrator in this story. When the narrator started drinking his loving attitude changed into one of insanity and violence. Poe s use of point of view,

symbolism, foreshadowing and theme all played an important role in this story giving reasons to why the narrator acted as he did. Although in the beginning of the story we understand that when the narrator writes mad am I not that he in actuality was in fact mad or insane. Even though the narrator states that what he did was caused all by the actions of the cat we find that in fact it was caused by him and his drinking. In this story the irrational urge to kill, which precedes out of an inborn sense of fear and blends into the urge of suicide, becomes our own. In capsule form, this utterance describes the whole of the narrator s life and ironically his death. Poe, I think, is a serious artist who explores all parts of his characters with probing intelligence. He permits the