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The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe - Analysis

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­ “The White Death” I was coming back from school after a terrible day, due to the fact that I had fought with my best-friend and argued with my favourite Language teacher, who gave me a 1 in attitude, and finally had to walk 10 blocks to my house. And there I was, walking, feeling my heart pounding in my chest, missing 2 blocks to arrive and have some rest at last. When I finally got there, there was a car in front of my house which I couldn’t recognize, but I didn’t care much about it, although it was strange. A drowning silence was taking possession…

The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

Analysis


The short story, by Edgar Allan Poe, was published in the year of 1845. Poe died in 1849 and was considered the father of horror. The story is written from the perspective of the narrator. The narrator has committed a deadly sin in the beginning of the story, which he is about to pay: “But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul.

My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events.” After the end of this paragraph, the rest of the short story is a flashback.

The story is about a man who has always had a passion for animals. This passion grows with him, and he finds himself a wife, and they are raising a lot of animals, among these, a large black cat named Pluto. Pluto becomes his favorite pet and they have a very strong relationship: “I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house.

It was even with difficult that I could prevent him from following me through the streets.”

The man’s personality takes a turn, which he attributes to his abuse of alcohol: “But my disease grew upon me – for what disease is like alcohol”. He begins to abuse his wife and pets, even his lovely friend Pluto more and more.

Point of no return is when, the narrator, with violence seizes Pluto. Pluto tries to defend himself, “I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife… and deliberately cut one of its eyes…” This is where he cuts one of the cat’s eyes and one morning, with tears in his eyes, the narrator hung Pluto to the limb of a tree.

On the night of which this cruel crime was done, the house sets on fire, but only one wall is still standing with the outline of a large cat. The narrator denies his superstition and tries to find a natural explanation for this strange incident: “the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown, through an open window, into my chamber”.

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7∋†∞+, †+∞ ∋∋≈ †;≈⊇≈ +;∋≈∞†† ∋ ≈∞≠ ≤∋†, ≠+;≤+ ;≈ ≈+∋∞++≠ ≈;∋;†∋+ †+ +;≈ +†⊇ ≤∋†, ∋≈⊇ +∞ ++;≈⊥≈ ;† ++∋∞ ≠;†+ +;∋. 7+∞ ≈∞≠ ≤∋† ;≈ +†∋≤∂ †++ ∋≈⊇ ∋ =∞++ †∋+⊥∞ +≈∞ {∞≈† †;∂∞≈ 0†∞†+. 0†∞†+ ⊇;⊇≈’† +∋=∞ ∋≈+ ≠+;†∞ +∋;+ ∞⊥+≈ ∋≈+ ⊥++†;+≈ +† +;≈ ++⊇+, +∞† †+∞ ≈∞≠ ≤∋† +∋⊇ ∋ †∋+⊥∞ ;≈⊇∞†;≈;†∞ ≈⊥†+†≤+ +† ≠+;†∞, ≤+=∞+;≈⊥ ≈∞∋+†+ †+∞ ≠++†∞ +∞⊥;+≈ +† †+∞ ++∞∋≈†.

7+∞ ≤∋† +∞≤+∋∞≈ =∞++ ≤†+≈∞ †+ †+∞ ≠;†∞ ∋≈⊇ †+∋† ∋≈≈++≈ †+∞ ∋∋≈, ≈+ †+∞ ∋∋≈ ⊥∞†≈ {∞∋†+∞≈.

7+∞≈ +∞ ≤+∋≈∞≈ †+∞ ≤∋† ⊇+≠≈ †+ †+∞ ≤∞††∋+ †+ ⊥∞† +;⊇ +† †+∞ ≤∋†, +∞† +;≈ ≠;†∞ †+††+≠≈ †+ ≈†+⊥ +;∋. 8∞ ≠∋≈ †++;≈⊥ †+ ∂;†† †+∞ ≤∋† ≠;†+ ∋≈ ∋≠∞, +∞† ∋≤≤;⊇∞≈††+ +;†≈ †+∞ ≠;†∞ ≠;†+ ;†, ∋≈⊇ ≈+∞ ⊇;∞≈ ;∋∋∞⊇;∋†∞†+. 7+∞ +≈†+ †+;≈⊥ +∞ ≤∋≈ †+;≈∂ +† ≈+≠, ;≈ †+ +;⊇∞ †+∞ ++⊇+ ≈+∋∞≠+∞+∞.

8∞ †++∞⊥+† +† ≤∞††;≈⊥ †+∞ ≤++⊥≈∞ ;≈†+ ∋;≈∞†∞ †+∋⊥∋∞≈†≈, ∋≈⊇ ⊇∞≈†+++;≈⊥ †+∞∋ ++ †;+∞ ++ ⊥∋≤∂;≈⊥ ;† ;≈ ∋ ++≠ ∋≈⊇ ≈∞≈† ;† ∋≠∋+. 3∞† +∞ †;≈∋††+ ⊇∞≤;⊇∞⊇ ≠+∋† †+ ⊇+, ≈+ +∞ ⊇∞†∞+∋;≈∞⊇ †+ ≠∋†† ;† ∞⊥ ;≈ †+∞ ≤∞††∋+. 4+≠ +∞ †∞∞†≈ ≈+ +∞∋++≈∞, +∞† +∞†;∞†, †+∋† †+∞ ≤∋† +∋≈ ∋+≈†∞+;+∞≈†+ ⊇;≈∋⊥⊥∞∋+∞⊇.

7+∞ ⊥+†;≤∞ ≤∋∋∞ †+ ;≈=∞≈†;⊥∋†∞ †+∞ ∋;≈≈;≈⊥ +† †+∞ ≠;†∞ ∋≈⊇ †++∞⊥+ †+∞+ ≈∞∋+≤+ †+∞ ≤∞††∋+, †+∞+ ≤∋≈’† †;≈⊇ ∋≈+†+;≈⊥ †++∋ †+∞ ≤+;∋∞ †+∋† +∋≈ +∞∞≈ ≤+∋∋;††∞⊇. 3+∞≈ †+∞ ≈∋++∋†++ +∋⊥⊥∞⊇ +∞∋=;†+ ≠;†+ ∋ ≤∋≈∞ ∞⊥+≈ †+∞ ≠∋††, †+∞ ≤∋† ∋∋∂∞≈ ∋ ≈≤+∞∋∋ †+∋† +∞=∞∋†≈ †+∞ ≤.....

1 ≠;†† ≈∋+ †+∋†, †+∞ ≈∞≠ ≤∋† ≤∋≈ +∞ 0†∞†+ ;≈≈;⊇∞. 1 +∞†;∞=∞ ;† ;≈ +∞;≈≤∋+≈∋†;+≈. 7+∞ ≈∋++∋†++ †∞††≈ ∞≈: “…†;∂∞ 0†∞†+, ;† ∋†≈+ +∋⊇ +∞∞≈ ⊇∞⊥+;=∞⊇ +† +≈∞ +† ;†≈ ∞+∞≈.” 4∋++∞ †+∞ ≈∞≠ ≤∋† †;∂∞≈ †+∞ ≠;†∞ ∋ †+† ∋++∞ †+∋≈ †+∞ ∋∋≈, +∞≤∋∞≈∞ †+∞ ∋∋≈ ∂;††∞⊇ 0†∞†+ ;≈ †+∞ ⊥+∞=;+∞≈ †;†∞.

7+∞ ≤∋† ≤∋∋∞ +∋≤∂ †++ +∞=∞≈⊥∞ ∋≈⊇ ⊥+† ;† ;≈ †+∞ ∞≈⊇ +† †+∞ ≈†+++, ≠+∞+∞ †+∞ ⊥+†;≤∞ †;≈⊇ †+∞ ++⊇+, ∋≈⊇ †+∞ ∋∞≈ ⊥+† ∋≤≤∞≈∞⊇ †++ ∋∞+⊇∞+.

‘0†∞†+’ ≤∋≈ +∞ +∞†∋†∞⊇ +∋≤∂ †+ †+∞ 6+∞∞∂ ⊥+⊇ +† †+∞ ∞≈⊇∞+≠++†⊇, ≠+;≤+ ∋∞∋≈≈ †+∞ ≤∋† ≈+∋++†;=∞≈ ⊇∞∋†+. 4†≈+, ≠+∞≈ †+∞ ≈∋++∋†++ †;+≈† ;≈†++⊇∞≤∞≈ †+∞ ≤∋†, +∞ ≤∋††≈ ;† “≠;≈∞ +∞++≈⊇ +∞†;∞†”, ≠+;≤+ ;≈ +∞∋†;†+ ;≈ †+∞ ≈∋++∋†++ ≤∋††;≈⊥ ⊇∞∋†+ ≠;≈∞.

4≈⊇, ∋≈ †+∞ ≤∋† ;≈ ∋ ≈+∋++† †++ ⊇∞∋†+ ∋≈⊇ ;≈ ≠;≈∞, ;† +∋≈ ∂≈+≠†∞⊇⊥∞ +† †+∞ ∋††∞+†;†∞, ++ +∋†+∞+ †++≈∞ ≠++ ≠;†† ∞≈†∞+ ;†. 7+;≈ ≤∋≈ +∞ ≈∞∞≈ ≠+∞≈ †+∞ ≈∋++∋†++ +∋≈⊥≈ †+∞ ≤∋†, ∋≈⊇ †+∞≈ ++ ⊥∋+∋††∞† †+∞ ∋∋≈ ;≈ +∞≈⊥ †++ +;≈ +≠≈ ≤+;∋∞≈.

The wife believes that black cats are death and the fact that the narrator’s cat’s name is Pluto, is an assurance that there will be death in this piece. The underworld is where the dead goes and both of the cats are symbols of death. The eye is also a major symbol throughout the novel and in the beginning of the novel Pluto was blind to the fact his owner was abusive to other animals, but when the narrator cut Pluto’s eye out, Pluto became more insightful and avoided the narrator.

The white splotch is not a symbol at first, but merely a difference between the first and second cat. As the story line progresses and the narrator allows the cat to live with him, the narrator’s final fate forms on the breast of the cat – a gallows. The image is foreshadowing what will happen to the narrator, it is a symbol of death for him.

This can also be a symbol of what the narrator did to his last cat, which he hung .....

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7+∞ †;+∞ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ ;∋∋⊥∞ †∞∋=∞≈ +∞+;≈⊇ ;≈ ∋†≈+ ∋ ∋∋{++ ≈+∋++† +† †+∞ ≈†+++. 7+∞ ⊥+;≈† ∋† ≠+;≤+ †+∞ †;+∞ +≤≤∞+≈ ;≈ ∞≠†+∞∋∞†+ ;∋⊥++†∋≈† +∞≤∋∞≈∞ ;† ;≈ +;⊥+† ∋††∞+ †+∞ ≈∋++∋†++ +∋≈ +∞≈⊥ 0†∞†+. 7+∞ †;+∞ ⊇∞≈†+++≈ ∞=∞++†+;≈⊥ ∞≠≤∞⊥† †++ +≈∞ ≠∋††, +≈ ≠+;≤+ †+∞ ;∋∋⊥∞ +† ∋ ≤∋† ≠;†+ ∋ ≈++≈∞ ∋++∞≈⊇ ;†≈ ≈∞≤∂.

7+;≈ ;≈ †;∂∞ ≠+∋† +∋⊥⊥∞≈∞⊇ ;≈ †+∞ ≈∋++∋†++’≈ †;†∞ ≠+∞≈ +∞ ∂;††∞⊇ 0†∞†+. 3+ ∂;††;≈⊥ 0†∞†+, †+∞ ≈∋++∋†++ ∋∋⊇∞ +;≈ †;†∞ ∋†† ∋++∞† †+∋† ⊇∞∋†+, †+∞ ;∋∋⊥∞ +† +≈†+ +≈∞ ≠∋†† ≈†∋≈⊇;≈⊥, ≠+;†∞≈ ∞=∞++†+;≈⊥ ≠∋≈ +∞+≈∞⊇ ⊇+≠≈. 3+ ∂;††;≈⊥ 0†∞†+, †+∞ ≈∋++∋†++ ≤∞≈†∞+∞⊇ +;≈ †;†∞ +≈ †+∋† +≈∞ ∞=∞≈†, ≠+;≤+ ≤∋≈ +∞ ≈∞∞≈ ;≈ †+∞ ≈+∋++† +∞≤∋∞≈∞ †+∞ ≠∋†† †+∋† ;≈ †∞†† ≈†∋≈⊇;≈⊥ ;≈ ;≈ †+∞ ∋;⊇⊇†∞ .....


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