The “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe depicts, not the descent of a man into moral ruin, but the revealing of the man’s true nature through the breech of social barriers, forged by way of alcohol, and the symbolism of this descent played by the black cat. The narrator, who is also chief character and author, remains unnamed, but for a purpose. Without a name he represents every man, or rather, every man’s potential. In the opening of his story, the character describes himself as docile and tender natured with a fondness for animals, describing the affection of his pets as “unselfish and self-sacrificing love. The main character faces the relationships of humans, however, with a cynical clipped tone, “the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
” Poe uses alcohol as a metaphorical “truth serum” for the soul of his main character. The desires and feeling held in check by unwritten social law are cut loose by habitual drinking leading to verbal and physical abuse of the man’s animals and wife. The man’s desire was power: over his animals, his wife, and their affections toward him. However, this abuse was not initially spread to the man’s cat, named Pluto.
The pair lived as peers rather than man and animal, but when the demeanor of the man changed in favor of base perverseness the cat changed the status of their relationship from peers to judge and judged: the cat deems the man’s habits of bad taste and to be avoided. The plot conflict story is focused on the first person point of view that receives the story as a sense of “realism. ” As an illustration the narrator intends to center his main character; which is considered a psycho narrator that is mentally related to his inner antisocial personalities.The story gives us the idea that while the perverse nature of the man was an inherent part of him which went on to act as the dominate feature, the man distanced himself from it, “My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame. ” Rather than allowing himself to think that his own nature was showing through a thin social facade, he maintained the idea that “he” was taken out of the equation, that “he” was a vessel for a bout of rage rather than the author of it.
Following the mauling of Pluto, the man first verbally realizes the spirit of perverseness, “Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart — one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. ” The author claims that this spirit, “an unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself,” drove him to murder Pluto in cold blood. The man could have shown his baseness by burning down a building or terrorizing a child, but he did not.Why? Because he first needed to conquer his enemy: the “moral” part of himself inhibiting the release of his true nature. In this story Pluto plays the symbol of the “moral” part of the man’s soul. Its, the “moral’s,” initial reaction to the base spirit’s appearance was to flee and later when confronted retaliate. The base spirit wounded the “moral” in a display of its prowess over the man’s action by driving him to act against his “moral” nature: the man gouges the cat’s eye out.
One should not suppose, however, that there are two souls in a man, the “moral” and the base, but rather that “moral” represents moral law and social dictates. The murder of Pluto represents the base soul’s attempt at a final vanquishing of the “moral. ” After the murder of Pluto, the author’s home catches fire and blazes to the ground with all of the man’s worldly wealth, including his animals. He and his wife move on to live in what the man describes as an “old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. This marks the beginning of a haunting for the main character. The narrator, out of guilt, acquires a second black cat very much like Pluto. The second cat is again the symbol of the “moral. ” The “moral” within the man causes him even more guilt and a haunted pain, once again attacking the base nature of man.
As the second cat continues to haunt and stir against the base soul, the base soul is driven into a fury of bottled up rage (inhibited by “moral”) and eventually bursts out against the “moral” in its worst form yet: the murder of the man’s wife.The “moral” flees just as the cat seems to do, and the base takes over the concealment of the corpse. However, in the end when the base spirit goes too far the “moral” “outs” him to the police.
The man is left possessing a death sentence for the murder of his wife and the “moral” is victor in justice to the soul but not in the soul. “The Black Cat” is a labyrinth of hidden meaning and ironic lilt: the symbol of morals and justice played by none other than a black cat. To what end?Poe shows that a black cat is more “moral” than the most pious of men, the possessors of souls – and corruption. “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.
” The plot literary elements distinguished in “The Black Cat” are developed into different pieces of work which consist of: exposition, foreshadowing, inciting force, conflict, rising action, crisis, climax, falling action, and resolution or denouement. The characters exposition not only set the mood or tone but, even presented the facts that are needed for understanding this story.Especially, when the narrator presents his tone of true feelings in his mere household events that he felt had terrified him, have tortured him, or that have felt destroyed him. In relation to the plots, the flashback is also found here which motivates the events or even series of events that occurred earlier than the current time in his work. This flashback writing element, with the second cat, was the cause of his indirected thoughts of happiness and therefore by being targeted toward the cat in his delusional apprehension.As he sees the second cat hanging around him, or, following him like the first cat, this is when he feels the flashback illusion taking effect of his first animal crime. Although the flashback is viewed as detailed in his own statement when he remarks, “What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the beast, was the discovery, on the morning after I brought it home, that, like Pluto, it also had been deprived of one of its eyes. At this point, of “Like Pluto,” the narrator is not only being observational in noticing a cat resemblance but, also trying to hide his cat crime, or even by avoiding his shameful violent behavior with “Pluto” – by taking the second cat home for replacement.
As if he also felt the black cat had returned to haunt him, as he interpreted the white smudge on his second cat’s chest; that he felt appeared like the gallows which later had a significant reflection of the story. Soon afterward, there is element of falling action that is followed were when he walls his wife into a cellar that was well adapted.In fact, he even thoroughly thinks through his almost perfect crime by specifically viewing the loosely constructed walls that had been plastered throughout the house with a rough plaster so to prevent any damp atmosphere damage This is also when he says, “But I am detailing a chain of facts-and wish not to leave even a possible link imperfect. ” In short, he eventually replaces the bricks to the inner cellar fireplace by breaking the brick with a crowbar against the inner wall.In doing this he is also showing his creative constructional intelligence to the readers by procuring mortar, sand, and hair.
Then later he has this feeling of relief for killing his own minded tormentators and even slept in tranquility with the burden of murder on his mind. This is when he later says with relief, “The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. ” Therefore, after the fourth day of that particular assassination this is when the element of denouement or resolution takes it grab.When the “police” come unexpectedly and is also seen as irony of the situation which meets at the unexpected arrivals. Furthermore, as the police were searching for any missing victims.
This is the part when the narrator thinks he’ll get away with his crime then, shortly incriminates himself by speaking about how the cellar wall is well constructed. About how the walls were solidly put together by “bravado. ” Like if he was making fun of himself for the crimes he committed with no remorse for the horrible killing actions he had done.What’s so shocking in the denouement of “The Black Cat”? Soon enough there’s a screeching cry through the wall, just as the police start to leave; they come back, and then tear down the wall to find a decomposed corpse, and at the top of the head, the second cat he had walled in the tomb.
With this in mind, he spoke, “Upon its head, with 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. As a result, this meant not only the resolution but, meant the black cat had his revenge for the death of Pluto in which it cursed him into his obsessive madness within committing to alcohol, burning his house, causing him poverty, hanging him like the Gallows, the murder to his wife, and killing of his black cat. In final, this story is also seen as the narrator’s suicidal approach that he felt the cat had possessed him with by making him react without good moral conscience.