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The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

Short Story Group Study ENG 3U

Amy Dath

on 25 September 2012

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Transcript of The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

Inciting Event Resolution Climax Introduction Rising Action The story "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe has three main characters. The unknown man narrating, his wife, and their cat, Pluto. The story starts off in their house. The man came home intoxicated and thought Pluto was avoiding him. He was bit by Pluto and felt he was then possessed. He then grabbed Pluto and carved out his eye with a penknife. The man hangs Pluto
The house sets on fire
The only remaining wall from the fire has an impression of a cat with a rope around its neck
The man finds a new cat with a white spot in its fur
The white spot in the fur turns into the gallows
The man notices that the cat loses one of its eyes Introduction Falling Action The man decides to hide his wife's corpse in the wall
The guilt from murdering his wife subsides
The cat is missing
The police come to the man's house to investigate his wife missing
The man hits the wall, in which his dead wife is behind, with his cane showing the police that the house is solidly put together and that the wife is not there After the man hit the wall with the cane they heard a howl. The police started to break down the wall and the body fell to the floor. There the cat was sitting on the head of the wife. The missing cat had been trapped within the tomb of his wife. Plot Diagram THEME ATMOSPHERE SETTING Conflict Person vs. Animal Person vs. Self Person vs. Person A guilty conscience cannot be over written. This story takes place in 1843 and is the man's house. Since the first house burns down the story then moves to a second
house. The
main action happened in the cellar of the second house. When the man is followed downstairs by the second cat and nearly trips on the cat so he grabs an axe. He tries to kill the cat, but the wife stops him so he buries the axe in her brain. Man vs. Addiction

The man has an addiction to alcohol which causes him to commit actions he normally wouldn't. Man vs. Perverseness

The man is bitten by Pluto which then causes the perverseness, which causes him to commit sins for the sake of committing sins. Man vs. Pluto Man vs. Second Cat Man vs. Wife Man vs. Police Dark Suspenseful Protagonist: The Man Narrator
Antagonist: Wife

Foil Characters: Pluto and The Second Cat

Pluto displays the man's love.
The second cat displays the man's hate. The mode of narration that Poe has used in this story is first person. The man narrating is in the story and uses words like "I" and "my" to refer to himself and things dealing with himself. "Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these," and "My happiness was supreme!" are quotes from the story. The author chose to use first person narrative to let the reader know the thoughts of the man. The reader gets to know what he thinks his mental state which they wouldn't be able to with second person. With second person the reader would assume the identity of the man, but for this particular story the identity of the man needs to be stated. The Black Cat story itself was a personal confession so it needed to be written in first person. Literary Devices Foreshadowing Repetition Symbolism Character Sketch Questions 1. What is the significance of the cats being black?

2. What acts in the story support the significance of the cats? One answer for each cat.

3. Do you think the name Pluto had a significance?

4. How do you think the second cat's white spot turned into the gallows?

5. What do you think happened to the man after the body fell out of the wall? Are there any hints in the story that would help you answer this? Abusive: "I suffered myself to use intemperate language at my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence."

Caring: "I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following my through the streets."

Smug: " 'I may say an excellently well constructed house. These walls are solidly put together.' "

Possessed: "The fury demon possessed me. I knew myself no longer."

Alcoholic: "One night, returning home, much intoxicated..."
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