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The Black Cat - Symbolism

Uploaded by Quest4Glory on Jul 05, 2004

In Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Black Cat," symbolism is used to show the narrator’s capacity for violence, madness, and guilt. "The Black Cat," written by Edgar Allan Poe serves as a reminder for all of us. The Capacity for violence and horror lies within each of us, no matter how docile and humane our disposition might appear. In this story, the narrator portrays a man who is fond of animals, had a tender heart, and is happily married. Within several years of his marriage, his general temperament and character make a radical alteration for the worse. He grows moodier, more irritable, and more inconsiderate of the feelings of others. This change for the worse caused by alcohol, ends in the narrator’s waiting on death row for the murder of his wife. The symbolism of the first black cat(Pluto), the second black cat, and the white spot illustrate the narrator’s expanding capacity for evil and perverseness.

The most important symbol of the story is the first black cat. The first black cat is symbolic of the narrator’s evil heart and there are many ways one can prove this. Black cat one started out in the story as the narrator’s favorite pet and playmate named Pluto,which is the name of the God of the Underworld. And one night, after returning home much intoxicated the narrator’s love for the pet seem to fade away. That night in which the narrator is intoxicated, black cat one avoided him. This bothered the narrator to the point where he would pick up the cat and frighten it. Afraid of his master, the cat slightly wounded the narrator on the hand with his teeth. Because of the cats reaction to his picking him up, the narrator pokes out one of the cat’s eye. The eye of the cat which is poked out by the narrator is symbolic of the narrator not wanting the cat to get a clear perception of his evil heart. Then suddenly on one morning the narrator hung black cat one by a noose from a tree. The hanging of the first black cat is symbolic of the narrator’s not being able to except love. And finally the archetypal symbol associated with black cat one is its color, black. One obviously knows that black cat one is symbolic of evil because of its color, black. The color black is associated with the well known superstition...

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Uploaded by:   Quest4Glory

Date:   07/05/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (858 words)

Views:   41692

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