Essay about The Drive Towards Insanity

1351 Words 6 Pages
The descent into madness is never a pretty road to travel. The journey involves multiple paths which are staggered into twists, turns, a fork in the road, and sometimes a glimmer of hope before reaching complete insanity. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” is one such story of a man who has stepped fully into the realm of madness. The end result of the narrator’s actions due to his mental state involve the maltreatment of his beloved pets, the hanging of his prized cat, and the eventual murder of his caring wife. The protagonist begins the tale by reassuring the recipient of the letter that he is perfectly sane, and that the entire ordeal was not a dream by any means. Many figures in history and in fiction have stated the same claim while …show more content…
Like a beautifully written sonnet, Poe tries to reach out to the sympathetic side of people to save the life of the narrator who is in prison trying to plea for his life. Poe uses many skills of persuasion like repetition, consistency, and social proof to reinforce the sanity of the narrator. Harold Bloom, a sterling professor of the Humanities at Yale University and one of America’s leading literary critics, has commended Poe’s writing style by saying “Poe’s poetry produces […] a “magic” and is thus ascribed to the ingenuity of his versification, to his exceptional technical virtuosity” (Bloom 120). Bloom continues praise the “magnetism” that draws many literature enthusiasts to Poe’s short stories and poems. He also mentions that even the critics who review Poe’s work as unimportant, keep on doing so multiple times. Bloom goes on to state “it is by no means clear why anyone should take the trouble to write-at length-about a writer of no importance” (Bloom 122). Admirers and loathers of Poe’s work can agree that his carefully chosen language can invoke sympathy when talking about the monster within the individual. Flawless imagery is an effective tool which Poe uses to show the snowball effect that drives the narrator down the path to insanity. Poe masterfully uses detailed descriptions and symbolism with every passage he writes. Nina Baym, an American literary critic, stated that in Poe’s stories “the landscape often acts while the

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