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The Black Cat

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livi harrsion

on 14 January 2016

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Transcript of The Black Cat

Literary Devices
“But my disease grew upon me -- for what disease is like Alcohol! -- and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish -- even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper.” (Poe, page 1-2)
Rhetorical Question
“Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not?” (Poe, page 2)
“I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire.” (Poe, page 2)
“...than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb! -- by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream…” (Poe, page 5)
“It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name -- and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would now have rid of myself of the monster had I dared…” (Poe, page 4)

The Romantic Period
The narrator allows his emotions to take hold and therefore he acts rashly:

“The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer”
“This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow.”
(Poe, page 2)

By Livi, Niamh, and Liz
"The Black Cat" By Edgar Allen Poe

A man begins his narrative by proclaiming that he is sane despite the story he is about to tell. He speaks about his love of animals, his and his wife's many pets, and one he especially favors, his black cat Pluto. However, his drinking gets the best of him and turns him into a violent man with uncontrollable anger. He mistreats his pets and cuts out Pluto's eye, and he is soon overwhelmed with the feeling of
. He hangs Pluto and the night he does, his house burns down, but the narrator thinks nothing of a connection between the two events. He comes across a new cat who greatly resembles Pluto and soon finds a burning rage for this animal as well. Attempting to kill this cat, his wife stops him and the narrator instead buries the axe into her head. He buries her in the wall of his cellar and when he sees the cat has disappeared, he is joyful because he assumes it ran away out of fright. When the police arrive to search his house, he is arrogant and certain they will not find his wife's body. Tapping the wall, a howl from inside sounds, and the police, tearing down the wall, find the body of his wife, and the black cat sitting upon her head.
There is a heavy focus on death and mortality:
“One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree…” (Poe, page 2)
“I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal…” (Poe, page 4)
“I withdrew my arm from her gasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan. This hideous murder completed…” (Poe, page 4)

Supernatural elements
“It was a black cat-- a very large one-- fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every aspect but one.” (Poe, page 3)
“Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!” (Poe, page 5)
Full transcript