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Transcript of Black Cat
order in which the events happened 1. House burns down
2. Murders wife while trying to
murder new cat
3. Gets a cat named Pluto
4. Hurts cat; cuts out an eye
5. New cat appears
6. Conceals wife inside wall
7. Cat is now scared of its owner
8. One wall remains standing
9. Owner feels as if he cannot escape his action
10. Abuses every animal but Pluto
11. First cat’s body is in the remains of the house
12. Police come to house and realize there is
something behind the wall
13. Narrator describes his love for animals
14. New cat is very affectionate towards owner
15. Owner realizes new cat’s white part of fur
looks like gallows
16. Starts to feel rage towards his
17. Owner hangs cat from a tree 12. 6. 2. 15. 9. 14. 5. 11. 8. 1. 17. 7. 4. 16. 10. 3. 13. Is the narrator reliable or unreliable? “FOR the most wild, yet most homely
narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor
solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case
where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I
not - and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and
to-day I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series
of mere household events.” 1. Is the narrator reliable or unreliable? Why?
2. Who do you think the narrator is addressing here? Cultural References Vocabulary How is the Black Cat Similar
to Hester Prynne’s Letter “A”. Consider the different
emotions each character felt when getting
their “reminders”. "For my own part, I soon found
a dislike to it arising within me. This was just the
reverse of what I had anticipated; but -- I know not how or
why it was -- its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed. By slow degrees, these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred. I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it. I did not, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill use it; but gradually -- very gradually -- I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a pestilence." 1)Impunity- to be exempt from punishment.
2)Disposition-state of mind or thinking
3)Fiendish malevolence-The devil gave him this sense of
rage, the urge to hurt the cat, he felt a boiling of hatred
for the animal inside of him, so then he hurt its eye
4)Debauch-to lead away
5)Vex- to irritate; annoy; provoke
“It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to
7)Deliberation- careful consideration before decision
How does the narrator's disposition change over the course of the story?
Why is the use of the word "deliberation" ironic for this story? Discussion Question # 2 Why do you think the second cat
treated the narrator as affectionately
as he did, despite the narrators hatred
and fear for it? Discussion Question #1 Symbols,
Themes, and Motifs Literary Links Figurative Language Barroques- means ornate or intensely detailed; references
the dramatic architecture of the early 17th century in Italy. It was characterized with much detail and sculptures.
"To me, they have presented little but Horror - to many they will seem less terrible than barroques." Pluto-besides having been a planet, Pluto is also a nickname given for Hades.
Black Cats- believed to be bad luck or disguised as witches. Scapegoats for unfortunate
luck. Only all black cats are Bombay cats, all other cats have a small piece of white on them somewhere. Freya the Norse love goddess rewards her two black cats, letting them become witches after they pulled her chariot. Another legend goes that the Greek goddess Hecate
turned a woman named Galenthias into a cat who then became a priestess. From then on cats-especially black ones-were considered sacred. Relating back to the Salem Witch Trials, a
black cat was seen sucking the body of Goody Carrier after she was hung. The British, on
the other hand, loved black cats. Here is a poem expressing what they felt,
“Black cat cross my path;
Good fortune bring to home and hearth;
When I am away from home;
Bring me luck wherever I roam.”
What does the black cat symbolize in the story? Alcoholism as an outside force Why do you think Poe favors the
use of short stories? "Deliberation" - A Tell-Tale Heart Poe hints at the notion of the existence of a greater being through the actions of his characters GUILT is a huge reoccurring theme within Poe imagery-“I determined to wall it up in the cellar - as the monks of the middle ages are recorded to have walled up their victims,”
simile-"a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child"
Poe repeatedly has the theme of the narrator
being both unnamed and mad Punishment vs. Revenge