Theme Of Madness In The Black Cat

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“The Black Cat”: Impulses lead by Insanity

Ignoring mental disorders is very risky, most mad people have a hard time accepting their mental illness. If left untreated and people suffering from mental disorders cannot manage their symptoms they can be driven to take risks, risks causing them to hurt themselves or others. Many people have committed crimes because their insanity drove them just a little too far which takes me too my question: to what extent will a man go to when he is driven by madness? The narrator in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” claims to have been driven to commit the murder of his wife because of rage and fear that was afflicted upon him by a black cat. An unknown narrator is writing his confession from his prison
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Amongst the various animals they have the narrator expresses a deep affection for one particular animal, a black cat named Pluto who he explains loves him very much too. As the story goes on the narrator states he has a change of personality growing moodier with age. One day coming from town he assumes Pluto has avoided him so in a rage he grabs the cat, startles him and gets furious when the cat bites back. Enraged the narrator reaches for a pocketknife stabbing out one of Pluto’s eyes. Filled with regret and guilt he later results to hanging the Pluto because he knew the cat once had loved him. That same night he is awaken by flames burning down his house, the next day after he has escaped he notices an imprint of a cat with a noose around its neck on the only wall left standing. Later he finds a cat similar to Pluto except for a …show more content…
Able to escape along with his wife he returns the next day to find a crowed in awe hovering over the one remaining wall. Once face to face with the wall he notices: “the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvelous. There had been a rope about the animal’s neck” (3). In “The Question of Poe’s Narrators” the author states “Blindly, he refuses to grant any connection between his violence and the fore; yet the image of a hanged cat on the one remaining wall indicates that he will he haunted and hag-ridden by his deed” (Gargano 181). The impression of hanged Pluto on the wall haunting the narrator of his actions is a foreshadowing of the events to come, “an infallible sign to the reader” (Gargano 181). Reliving his experience as he recounts his story he realizes then that the worst was yet to come: “When I first beheld this apparition—for I could scarcely regard it as less…”

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