The Theme Of Guilt In Poe's The Black Cat And The Tell-Tale Heart By Edgar Allan Poe

Superior Essays
The dictionary defines guilt as a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, ect., whether real or imagined. Edgar Allan Poe 's writings portray guilt in many aspects. Guilt can be seen in all of his work, but especially in his short stories. Edgar Allan Poe 's The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart are two of his main stories that revolve around the theme of guilt. The Black Cat is one of Edgar Allan Poe?s famous short stories. ?This first- person narrative falls into the realm of Horror/ Gothic Literature, and has been examined in association with the themes of insanity and alcoholism.?[endnoteRef:2] The story is about a man, a woman, and their cat. The man in the story is also the narrator. Throughout the story, the man realizes his ?mental deterioration? and tries to prevent it; however, he is not able to, and he spirals into ?madness?.[endnoteRef:3] Another story by Poe in which a man spirals into madness is The Tell-Tale Heart. These two stories are often linked together due to the ?profound psychological elements these two works share.?[endnoteRef:4] [2: (Lombardi, 'The Black Cat '- Short Story By Edgar Allan Poe)] [3: …show more content…
His parents separated when he was very young. He lived with his mother Elizabeth, his brother Henry, and his sister Rosalie. When Edgar was two, his mother died. All three children were separated. Edgar moved around a lot. He went to good schools and studied in England for a while. He later went into the army, but did not stay for very long. Poe married his cousin Virginia. She, like his mother, died at a very young age. This led to Poe?s drinking and psychological problems.[endnoteRef:18] Looking back today, we can see that he had depression, along with some other disorders. How Poe died is still a mystery today. Some theories are: alcohol, disease/ medical problems, and cooping. Cooping happened during an election day. [18:

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Poe’s use of imagery through his stories is prominent in his works, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Black Cat. In The Fall of the House of Usher, Poe describes Roderick Usher in a way that uses all of the senses. “He suffered much from a morbid…

    • 1216 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Edgar Allan Poe is a popular American writer and a central figure of romanticism in the United States. Poe presented many short stories; he is the first famous American to try to live by writing alone. One of his notorious short story’s is The Black Cat. He presented this short story on The Saturday Evening Post. Poe’s motive for writing this short story was to study the mindset of violence of a disturbed human being.…

    • 746 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Edgar Allan Poe Influences

    • 1687 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Poe’s writings inspired many authors, but one in particular was Arthur Conan Doyle, author of The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, because of his mystery based writing style (oswego.edu). The Black Cat , The Cask of Amontillado, and The Tell-Tale Heart, are stories that are considered to fall into the horror genre of Poe’s works due to their eerie persona (poetryfoundation.org). Edgar Allan Poe’s story, The Pit and The Pendulum, is written about a man who falls into a pit, believes he is a victim of a tyrant and is to be buried alive, tormented by thirst, and is stricken with fear due to the deprivation of darkness and unfamiliar surroundings (Quinn 359). Edgar Allan Poe’s story,,The Murder of Marie Roget, is the story about a woman named Mary Cecilia Rogers, who was murdered, but the case had never been solved (Quinn 357-359). Poe changed the setting of the murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers to take place in Paris and claimed not to have known anything about what happened, but wrote the story to show the case should be approached once more (Quinn 358).…

    • 1687 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    2: 705-743). Although both stories have diverse plots, their main characters are similar because they both suffer from their own insanity. In “The Black Cat” Poe shows the result of progressive insanity and how it later effects overall actions. Stephen King makes a point in Misery to show the outcome of ones emotions and how they block out logic to focus on their unrealistic wants. Both stories display greatly how much of an impact the mind has on everything.…

    • 1220 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Edgar Allan Poe Themes

    • 1142 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Edgar Allan Poe made many of his characters mad. (Gargano 179) Poe’s insane characters only make themselves more insane as they try and prove themselves sane. (Gargano 179) Gargano states that his characters grow more insane because of their obsessive natures. (179) Poe constantly wrote stories in which the characters would make themselves go mad. (Gargano 179) After a character commits a heinous crime, the character is usually overcome with an immense feeling if guilt.…

    • 1142 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Edgar Allen Poe's short story The Black Cat inundates the reader into the psyche of a killing alcoholic. Poe himself experienced liquor abuse and frequently demonstrated flighty conduct with brutal upheaval. Poe is well known for his American Gothic ghastliness stories, for example, the Tell-Tale Heart and the fall of the House of Usher. "The Black Cat is Poe's second mental investigation of abusive behavior at home and blame. He added another component to help in bringing out the dim side of the storyteller, and that is the heavenly world."…

    • 1653 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The short stories of “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” share many similarities with one another but they are also very different in many ways. A similarity which both accomplish is the themes they represent of murder and the belief in supernatural events caused by their own insanity. “The Tell-Tale Heart” can be perfectly summarized in a short sentence by Brett Zimmerman being “Poe 's confessional tale features a psychologically ill protagonist who recalls his grisly murder of an old man” (Zimmerman 342). As mentioned it was about a man who felt justified in killing another person on account of that the main character suffered from some type of mental illness. It was clearly shown that there was something wrong with the mentality of the narrator when he mentioned.…

    • 1082 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Edgar Allan Poe often demonstrates a type of madness in his short stories. Many times it comes from the first-person narrator. While the narrators are similar in the fact that they are both insane, they also have a lot of differences in the way that they are insane. A great way to compare the way the insanity differs in the narrators, is to compare two of Poe’s stories. Stories such as “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” do a good job showing the similarities and differences between the insanity in both of the stories, as well as the insanity in other short stories of Edgar Allan Poe’s.…

    • 886 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Certain characters murder, some desecrate other humans, some drop everything and everyone, and some are buried by the obsession. The theme of obsession in the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe portray the consequences of succumbing to human whim and how it can take full control of your mind if one lets it. Due to Poe?s centrality of insanity throughout his short stories, the theme which stands out the most is obsession. [22: Poe…

    • 2138 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Poe lost his mother at age two, and then continued to lose his step-mother in his teens. Poe then lost his step-father five years after his step-mother. Since he grew up without much of a mother figure in his life, he had a change of mind growing up. Poe finally found a love in the insane asylum, Sarah Royster, who overtime died while in the asylum of tuberculosis. Sarah was known as Poe’s last true love.…

    • 1534 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics