The Black Cat

In Glogpedia

by xuclass2017
Last updated 3 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Book Reports
Grade:
7

Toggle fullscreen Print glog
The Black Cat

Theme

"The Black Cat"Short Story Analysis

In The Black Cat, the cat represents a witch, or a monster. The narrator, in reference to his cat, says, “In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point...” This forebodes of bad things to come, and the cat is later referred to as a monster by the narrator. The cat symbolizes a monster, or witch in this story, because it is supposedly the reason for the narrator’s ill temper. This symbolism impacts the story by casting a dark mood throughout the story.

In The Black Cat, the cat represents a witch, or a monster. The narrator, in reference to his cat, says, “In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point...” This forebodes of bad things to come, and the cat is later referred to as a monster by the narrator. The cat symbolizes a monster, or witch in this story, because it is supposedly the reason for the narrator’s ill temper. This symbolism impacts the story by casting a dark mood throughout the story.

With a combination of setting and suspense, the story is set up with an eerie mood. After this, the cat symbolizing a witch forebodes that the story will take a dark tone. This makes the reader want to continue reading to see what happens as the story continues. Literary devices like similes, metaphors, Poe is able to make the story more interesting. The reason why short stories engage the reader, is that the writer must pack all of these literary elements into the story. These stories are quickly read, and give you all the needed prior knowledge to understand the happenings of the story. This makes the story appeal to the reader.

One example of figurative language is when the narrator says “I had walled the monster up within the tomb!” The tomb is a metaphor relating to how he ‘buried’ his wife in the wall. This word choice and metaphor makes the entire scene seem darker, and effects the mood.

An example of a theme in the Black Cat is the negative effects of alcohol. In the story, the narrator has a good life. he is married, and has many pets. After becoming an alcoholic, his temper scares most of his animals, and leads him to try to kill both his favorite pet cat, Pluto, and his wife. When his house burns, it is like symbolism, because he loses almost everything he had after becoming an alcoholic. This theme impacts the story because the narrator being an alcoholic is part of what makes this story dark, and sets moods for the reader.Another example of theme in the story is that of justice. In the story the narrator becomes mad at his cat, Pluto, and hangs it. However, soon he is “repaid” when his cat somehow returns with a white mark around its neck that resembles the gallows. Later, the narrator’s anger leads him to kill his wife. The narrator states, “And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crow-bar I easily dislodged the bricks, and, having carefully deposited the body against the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while, with little trouble, I re-laid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair, with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster which could not be distinguished from the old, and with this I very carefully went over the new brick-work. When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself—“Here at least, then, my labor has not been in vain.” However, after all of this work, the cat reveals the corpse to the police. This almost a karmic, vengeful act reflects the theme of justice.

In the narrator’s point of view, the cat was the cause of him becoming mad. It tells us about how the cat loved him but then also experienced the ill temper of the narrator. his point of view also told us how he was trapped by the cat and how it will always watching and following him. The point of view also told us how horrible he felt for killing the cat and the memories of it.This impacts the story by making the story more supernatural and eerie. For example, if the story was told by the wife, the wife could understand that the happenings in the story all happened because of the narrator being an alcoholic.In the cat's point of view, the narrator turned into a ill tempered monster that would hurt him. he was a really nice and caring person before but he turned into a “demon.” The cat would run away and bite him because of self defence or being startled, only to be punished by his drunken master. Another thing is that the entire story is told in the first person perspective, similar to most of Poe’s stories. This allows the narrator to express their emotions, and can make for a more dynamic narration.

Beginning- The narrator loved animals, and that was one of his distinguishing traits.End- he became an alcoholic and attacked all his animals and ended up hating them. The bad things in this story like attacking the cat and even murdering his wife would not have happened if he did not develop in this way. If he kept loving animals he would not want to harm the cat and the wife would not need to block him and make him attack her instead. This development creates a sense of irony, because while the man was known for his docility and love for animals, he starts having a temper, and begins to hate his own cat.

In the beginning of the story, the author says, “I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat.” Along with a nice house, this setting sets a cheery mood. However, the story quickly becomes eerie and dark. This sudden change in mood compels the reader to read more.

Suspence

Character Development

Why are Short Stories Engaging?

Point Of View

Setting

Symbolism

Figurative Language


Comments

    There are no comments for this Glog.