Edgar Allan Poe is known for his use of symbolism in his short stories. In “The Black Cat,” Poe uses the black cat to symbolize the narrator’s descent into madness. The narrator begins by describing the cat as a “beautiful animal,” but as the story progresses, the cat becomes a symbol of evil. By the end of the story, the black cat has been transformed into a “hideous beast” that represents the narrator’s own horrific nature.
Poe also uses the black cat to symbolize death. The cat is first seen when the narrator’s wife is dying, and it appears again at the end of the story when the narrator kills his wife. The black cat’s association with death makes it a powerful symbol of the narrator’s own guilt and remorse.
Finally, Poe uses the black cat to represent the supernatural. The cat seems to have a sixth sense that allows it to predict the future. It also appears to be able to understand the narrator’s thoughts. This supernatural ability makes the black cat a eerie and foreboding presence in the story.
In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” symbolism is used to illustrate the narrator’s capacity for violence, madness, and guilt. “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe serves as a constant reminder for us all. Each of us possesses the capacity for violence and dread, regardless of how pleasant or peaceful our demeanor appears. In this narrative, the narrator portrays a guy who is devoted to animals and has a kind heart but who suddenly begins to act viciously. His general temperament and character deteriorate over several years after his marriage.
The change in his disposition is so gradual and so imperceptible that he himself is unaware of the transformation. The narrator becomes an abusive alcoholic who takes out his frustration on his wife and pets. One evening, after returning home from a night of drinking, he finds himself in a fight with his wife.
In the midst of their argument, he seizes her by the throat and strangles her to death. The next morning, when he comes to his senses, he is horrified by what he has done. He tries to hide the evidence of his crime, but is unsuccessful. He is caught and put on trial for murder. While in jail awaiting his execution, he tells the story of how he came to kill his wife to a fellow inmate.
This change for the worse caused by alcohol, ends in the narrators waiting on death row for the murder of his wife. The symbolism of the first black cat (Pluto), the second black cat, and the white spot illustrate the narrators expanding capacity for evil and perverseness. The most important symbol of the story is the first black cat. The first black cat is symbolic of the narrators evil heart and there are many ways one can prove this. Black cat one started out in the story as the narrators favorite pet and playmate named Pluto,which is the name of the God of the Underworld.
Pluto was the best of cats, and the most affectionate creature which I ever knew. This shows that even though the cat may have had some good in it, there was always an evil lurking inside, just waiting to come out. The other way that black cat one is symbolic of the narrators evil heart is how he tortures and kills it. He hangs it by the neck from a tree in his yard, which is a very slow and painful way to die. This shows that the narrator takes pleasure in causing pain and suffering, even to those he loves. The final way that black cat one symbolizes the narrators evil heart is in its appearance after its death.
When the cat was cut down from the tree, its head was completely smashed, and its eyes were gone. This is symbolic of the narrators complete loss of reason and sanity. The second black cat is also symbolic, but in a different way. Black cat two is symbolic of the downfall of the narrator. The first time we see black cat two, it is at the door of the narrator as he is leaving for work. He tries to shoo it away, but it follows him all the way to work. This foreshadows the narrators eventual downfall, as the cat will not be pushed away or ignored.
The next time we see black cat two, it is when the narrator comes home from work to find his house on fire. This is symbolic of the destruction of everything he has worked so hard for. The final time we see black cat two is when the narrator is hiding in the cellar, and it comes and sits on his chest, staring him in the face. This is symbolic of the narrators own conscience, come to haunt him for his evil deeds.
The white spot on black cat two’s chest is also symbolic. The white spot is symbolic of the narrators wife, who was also killed by the narrator. The fact that the white spot is on the chest of black cat two shows that the narrator feels guilty for killing his wife, even though he tried to rationalize it as an accident.
After drinking too much, the narrators love for the pet fades away one night. That night, when the narrator was inebriated, a black cat fled from him. This concerned the narrator such that he would pick up the cat and frighten it. The cat badly wounded the narrator on his hand with his teeth due to his reaction to being picked up by his master. The narrator poked out one of the cats eyes as a result of her fear of being picked up by him. Because of her aversion to being picked up by him,
The next morning the narrator sobered up and felt remorse for what he had done to his pet. The Edgar Allan Poe story “The Black Cat” is full of symbolism. The black cat itself is a symbol of the narrators evil nature. The fact that the cat is black also symbolizes death. The loss of the cats eye also symbolizes how the narrator has lost his own soul.
The black cat is also a symbol of the narrators wife. The wife is represented by the cat because she is also black and has only one eye. The narrator kills the cat because he wants to kill his wife.
The second black cat is all black except for a white spot on its chest. The second black cat also has a deformity, which is symbolic of the narrators deformity, his missing eye. The second black cat is also symbolic of the fact that the narrator has not truly repented for his crimes, as he still has the evil in his heart. The third and final black cat is symbolic of the narrators complete descent into madness. The Third black cat is completely white, except for its eyes, which are two different colors. One eye is blue and the other eye is yellow.
He went to a bar the night after his house caught fire and saw black cat two. Except for one thing, black cat two looked exactly like black cat one. The discovery of black cat two is representative of the narrator’s return home from a pub intoxicated at night.
The one aspect that was different about black cat two was that it had a white patch of fur on its chest. The white patch of fur is symbolic of the innocence that the narrator has lost.
The next morning, the narrator awoke to find that black cat two was gone. The disappearance of black cat two is symbolic of the narrators conscience. The narrator then began to search for black cat two, but he could not find it. The search for black cat two is symbolic of the narrators guilt.
The next day, the narrator saw black cat two in his garden. The finding of black cat two in the garden is symbolic of the fact that the narrator has not been able to escape his guilt. The black cat then disappeared and the narrator could not find it. The disappearance of black cat two is symbolic of the fact that the narrator has lost his innocence.
In conclusion, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” is a story rich in symbolism. The symbols of black cat one, black cat two, and the white spot all contribute to the overall theme of the story, which is the capacity for evil that exists within all of us.