The Black Cat

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by raymondclass2017
Last updated 5 years ago

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The Black Cat

One important symbol in “The Black Cat” is not only the title but the black cat itself, which is an omen of bad to come. For instance in the story it states that,”I approached and saw, as if graven in bas-relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvellous. There was a rope about the animal’s neck”. Showing that the cat isn't only a main character in the story but it also has an important role in the symbolic aspect of the story. Another important symbol in “The Black Cat” is when he says regarding the cat,”And a brute beast...a brute beast to work out for me”. This shows that to Edgar the cat represents something evil or dark in the way he describes it. The last symbol in “The Black Cat” is the author's alcohol problem. Although the cat may be the receiver of the authors problems and feelings the real cause is his alcohol problem which causes him to lose his grip on reality and ultimately commit all the deeds that he has done.


Character Development


Black Cat


Glog by: Aleena, Joshua, Raymond

Book Cover

by Edgar Allan Poe

The suspense in “The Black Cat” affects the story because it intrigues the reader and generates more questions. For example, the text states “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." The reader would wonder what exactly the ‘mad’ event was that took place. The reader is more intrigued because of all the questions about the story that the author generated. Suspense builded on questions like ‘what did the husband do?’ and ‘why would it he not expect nor solicit belief?’ When questions are generated, you want to read on and you will be more rapt. In addition, the suspense affects the mood and tone. The reader’s mood escalates. The moods caused can be nervous because the tension builds. The tone is suspenseful, which affects the reader’s feelings/mood of being intrigued, curious, or worrisome.


The character in “The Black Cat” changes a lot during the story. For example in the beginning he loves animals. One thing that shows this is when it says, “I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them.” Then later on in the story he started to drink alcohol and started get angrier and more reckless. For example, “One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence”. Then later he becomes crazy and makes rash decisions. For example when he kills his wife he made a terrible choice. That is how the character in “The Black Cat” develops throughout the story.

Point of View

The story is told first person because he is telling a story that happened to him. For example, he says it is his cat. He also has said that this happened in the past. For example he says, “narrative which I am about to pen”. This show that he is narrating a story that happened to himself. He also says, “I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain.” This shows he did. These examples show that it is first person. This impacts the story because it would not show his thoughts if he was not not saying it in first person of his point of view.

In the story “The Black Cat” one theme is hate. From the beginning to the end of the story the authors hate for the cat causes him to do a variety of wicked and gross deeds even burying an axe in his wife's brain. A second theme is illusion, the author being that he is under the influence of alcohol seems to lose his grip on reality and this ties into hatred because as he shifts between worlds he becomes angry and the cat is the receiver of this hatred. Finally a third and final theme in “The Black Cat” is superstition. Throughout the story the cat is often seens as a sign of badness and it can be said the all the negative events relate to the cat.

Figurative Language

The figurative language in “The Black Cat” affects the plot development in the story because for one, it affects the mood of the reader. For example, the simile in the text states “My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions.” This quote in the story constructs a carefree, untroubled, and gleeful mood. But, as so, this simile and others in the Black Cat can affect the plot because it gives the readers a better understanding. ‘Tenderness of heart” was given an example or comparison of the phrase to being ‘jest’ or funny, in other words. In addition, the text states “I approached and saw, as if graven in bas relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat.” So, the man could have been feeling anyway but this simile defined the character’s point of view. On another note, the figurative language also lengthens the story, by advancing the plot. The plot runs slower because the excessive language extends the story and slows the pace. It is a lot more descriptive and the suspense is emphasized.


The setting impacts “The Black Cat” because, for one, it impacts the mood. For example, the text states “I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house.” This makes the the atmosphere in the story very sweet and gratifying. You can also be able predict that it will go well. The setting, itself can let you maybe assume that there if something good going to happen and if there were something otherwise, it would be a murder or so because it takes place in a house. In addition, the setting also gives you more information and visualization. The text, for example, states “this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd” so this gives you the information that he owned a garden, with a tree in which he hanged the cat. Also, you can now reckon there are many people wondering about the cat and crowding around. The setting and atmosphere (noting that there is a cat hanging from a tree) can also set a eery mood. When the text states “into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit” you can get that the narrator is poor. This can give you knowledge on the type of life he lives. You can also infer that something disturbing will occur because it is taking place in this type of ‘old cellar.’


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