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The Black Cat
Transcript of The Black Cat
Strange and Quiet
"...possessed in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had once been my distinguishing trait, and the source of many of my simplest and purest pleasures." THE NARRATOR Docile
Aware of his own behavior
Tender at Heart
Fond of animal THE SECOND BLACK CAT White spot on his chest shaped like the gallows
Similar in appearance with the original cat, Pluto
This cat doesn't cling to the narrator that much
The narrator fears this cat and has nightmares about the cat. THE BLACK CAT Pluto
Large, Beautiful, Entirely Black, "sagacious to an astonishing degree."
The narrator's favorite pet and playmate. What do u think this picture represents??? THE FIRST CAT The Black Cat
By Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe
born January 19, 1809 in Boston Massachusetts
writes horror, & mysterious short stories with common themes of death, insanity, and gore
Poe dealt with alcoholism throughout his life, similar to the narrator in "The Black Cat" Exposition Thematic Questions ;0
1.Is guilt the base of violence or is violence the cause of guilt?
2. Is violence by choice or is it "the primitive impulse of the human heart"? "The Black Cat"
published on August 19, 1843
Story is told in first-person
Pluto - cat's name, the Roman name of Hades, God of the Underworld, who rules over the souls of the dead
Fiend Intemperance - lack of control in consuming alcohol
Arch Fiend - Devil; Satan The setting of the story is the jail cell where the narrator tells his story about his actions leading up to these event.
The narrator (protagonist)
The Cats (antagonist)
Narrator vs. Narrator
Narrator vs. Cat
Narrator vs. Wife Inciting Incident The narrator's pleasant attitude and character changes once he becomes an alcoholic.
Narrator vs. Narrator The original cat is a symbol of love that the narrator rejects. The cat never does anything to the narrator. The narrator not only hates the cat, but he kills the cat too. This is also how the narrators attitude is towards his wife that he abuses. He feels that his human nature overpowers his will of right and wrong. Figurative Language
"I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed."
Poe describes the narrator drinking alcohol, trying to forget about what he did to the cat.
"... I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire."
Poe compares the fire burning his house to the noise of crying.
"My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence."
The narrator of the story does not feel remorse right after killing his wife and even compares himself to an innocent person.
"... I was answered by a voice from within the tomb! - by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child..."
Poe uses this simile to show how the wailing of the cat from inside the wall sounded like a sobbing child. Rising Action Began to respond to things using violence
He Molested his Wife and Pluto
While much intoxicated, Narrator kills Pluto with the thought that he was being avoided, and cut one of the cat's eyes out
The cat's eye then began to recover
Cat avoided him
Kills cat again, but this time hung him on a tree, in a garden, near the house
House catches on fire. Only a wall with the cats appearance remains
A new cat appeared in his presence, with a white chain of fur across the cat's body
Cat favors Wife more
Narrator goes after cat with axe Climax The narrator kills his wife in her attempt to keep the cat, with the white fur, safe from the axe. Falling Action Hides his Wife's body in the wall
Black cat, with white fur, runs away and was never seen again
Police investigates house and found nothing
Police end investigation Resolution The narrator sees that the cat was with the wife in the wall "tomb". Dénouement The narrator is arrested and sent to prison for his horrendous deeds. MOOD CHANGE (Alcoholic) Cruel
Abusive to animals and Wife
Knew that what he was doing was wrong
Developed a "hatred of all things and of all mankind" when his temper increased
Wasn't disturbed by killing his wife CONFLICTS Narrator vs. Narrator In the introduction of "The Black Cat", the narrator explains how "his very senses reject their own evidence" and how his own actions "have terrified tortured and destroyed him."
The narrator often blames his human nature and "spirit of perverseness" for his immoral, cruel behavior. Narrator vs. Cats The narrator hung the cat "with the bitterest remorse at [his] heart"
He "regrets the loss of the animal"
He goes from loving the cat to hating the cats and wanting to kill them
Everything starts to irritate him, "even Pluto begins to experience the effects of [his] ill temper"
Cuts the eyes out from the can and hangs it with "tears streaming from [his] eyes."
Couldn't remove himself from "the phantasm of the cat"
Disliking for new cat arise.
He withheld from destroying cat with blow because of the memory of the other crime and mainly DREAD.
Cat gave him nightmares that "he had no power to shake off."
Cat was tormenting him because it hadn't appeared.
Cat's "craft had seduced" him. Narrator vs. Wife Began abusing his wife after becoming an alcoholic.
The wife suffered patiently and was "usual"
The wife tried to defend the second cat, but the narrator killed her out of a feeling of "rage more than demoniacal". THE BLACK, WHITE SPOTTED CAT The second cat represents death. Though the narrator sarcastically explains that the wife is superstitious about black cats, this is a foreshadow, of the black cat's role in the story. The wife points out that this cat's white spot is shaped like the gallows, which is similar to the tree that killed the first cat. This suggest that the original cat and the new cat are the same. This black cat is also found on top of the corpse. THE FIRE The fire represents the destruction of his old life. He is now a new person. After becoming an alcoholic and brutally killing the original cat, he has left behind his morals. Also the fire may represent him going to hell, and the cat's name is Pluto. QUESTION TIME??
(; THE THE BIG PICTURE "The Black Cat" relates to the themes of violence and guilt because the narrator's attitude of little remorse and his feelings of perverseness shows us how violence is within everyone and is the nature of mankind. OUR SOURCES http://www.shmoop.com/black-cat-poe/symbolism-imagery.html