Literary Analysis Of The Black Cat By Edgar Allan Poe

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Allan Poe was born in 1809 and died in 1849. He is an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely known as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and of American literature in general. Besides; Allan is among earliest practitioners of the short story in the United States. However, as a writer, Edgar Allan Poe has a rich legacy in literary theory, genre of science fiction. The short story The Black Cat is considered to be among the writings of the American writer Edgar Allan Poe which was published in August 19th, 1943. 

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In 1943 (unnamed place, possibly U.S.), as the narrator is waiting for his execution because he murdered his wife with an ax. Therefore, the protagonist in The Black cat is the narrator, and he is certainly not a good guy or a hero. In fact, he is quite the opposite, as he ends up being abusive both to his wife and his pets when he is drunk (which is often), and he ends up killing both his favorite cat and his wife in rather gruesome ways. This narrator is a perfect example of how protagonists are not necessarily always good.

Although, the antagonist lies as well in the character of the narrator. The narrator relayed on many symbols to forward his aim through this short story. Such as, the Symbol: Premature Burial; the fear of being buried alive due to being misconstrued as dead was very real. As a result, stories of premature burial abound throughout literature and throughout Poe’s stories. These expressions support this claim; “The Cask of Amontillado,” “Morella,” “Eleanora,” “Ligeia,” and “Berenice. “In addition to this, there is also the symbol of “Eyes”, he movement from obsession toward madness takes a particularly sadistic turn in “The Black Cat” when the narrator jabs a penknife into the cat and leaves it with only one eye. For instance, in this expression from the text “The Tell-Tale Heart”. The writer has also used many figures of speech such as: personification in the two following examples. Firstly, “The feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed’. Secondly, ‘My very senses reject their own evidence”.

In addition to all these literary elements which made the short story “the black cat” unique and valuable, there are as well in the story many quotes which worth analysis. Such as, “For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief.” From the moment, the story begins, the reader has reason to be skeptical of the narrator. In the first place, if the events of the story are to be believed at all, there is only one conceptual setting from which the first-person narration of those events could logically originate: in the custody of the judicial system somewhere between being arrested for murder and being executed for that murder. 

10 Jun 2021

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