The Black Cat And The Masque Of The Red Death

702 Words 3 Pages
Many horror stories contain monsters, psychopaths, and other irrational beings that would scare the reader if they were confronted by them. But, “The Black Cat”, “The Yellow-Wallpaper”, and “The Masque of the Red Death”, are different. These stories are about the horrors within one's own mind, as most of the terror from the stories come from the protagonist’s thoughts and resulting actions. These short stories all are early examples of the psychological thriller genre. The fright the reader experiences is caused by the mental instability of the main characters.

“The Yellow-Wallpaper” is an unnerving story, as it is written in a way that leaves lots of room for interpretation about what is happening and predictions about how it would
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She is confined to a room to rest by her husband because of a, “slight hysterical tendency” (Stetson 648) , a medical diagnosis. The female narrator quickly starts obsessing over the ugly wallpaper in her room. She does this due to her isolation and her boredom, as a result of her confinement. Eventually, this grows to be the only thing that she writes about in her journal. Based on her journal, you can tell that she is messed up in the head, and this causes the reader to experience horror. One example is when she writes about the wallpaper,”The front pattern does move - and no wonder! The woman behind it shakes it!” (Stetson 654). The main character truly believes that there is a real person trapped behind the wallpaper that cannot get out, and that this person shakes the wallpaper during the night. The narrator spends lots of time peeling off the wallpaper in order to free the woman and other female figures she believes are trapped, but they are obviously not there. The narrator’s commitment to this idea is creepy and not related to reality at all. Finally, her husband returns home one day to find her …show more content…
This story tells of an alcoholic that is driven crazy because his cat, Pluto, ignores him, and he cuts the eye out of it in a drunken rage. As time goes on, the narrator starts to feel guilt whenever he sees the cat, so he hangs it from a tree to prevent future reminders. He does this, “...to do wrong for the wrong’s sake only.” (Poe 6). He then gets another cat that looks a lot like Pluto, and beats it because it annoys him that the cat loves him so much, despite him being mean. Eventually the main character’s cruelty spreads to humans when he kills his wife, and “buries the axe in her brain” (Poe 11) because he wants to kill the second cat but she stops him. The narrator then hides her body in a wall in the cellar of his home, after first considering many gruesome ways of disposing of it such as “cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire.” (Poe 11) The narrator shows no real remorse or regret throughout the story, even though he seems to be aware of his mind breaking down. The main character's thoughts leads to truly gruesome results and the terror of the

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