Psychological Changes Of The Main Character Of The Black Cat

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Who is Edgar Allen Poe? Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer and editor. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery. Poe made a short story called “The Black Cat”. The short story shows us that Poe's unreliable narrator undergoes both physical and psychological transformations throughout the narrative. From the beginning, this narrator exemplifies a changing personality throughout the beginning, middle and end of the story.

In the beginning of the story with Poe opening up using both suspense and mystery in his revelation that he wants to “unburden” his soul because he will die the next day, the narrator gives details of his early love for animals and marriage to a woman of the same sentiments, who presents him with many pets. Among these is his favorite animal was a black cat whose name was Pluto which comes from the Greek god of the underworld it foreshadows the narrator’s descent into the murky regions of alcoholism, self-deception, and violence due to alcoholism the narrator believed.

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As we start to read more into the story the narrator underwent a significant change he grew day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. We see that this change effect is indicated when he came back home intoxicated due to alcohol. Poe wrote 'One morning, in cold blood, I slipped a noose around its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree;-hung it with tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart;-hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offense;-hung it because I knew that in so I was committing a sin-a deadly sin that would jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it-if such a thing were possible- even beyond the reach of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God'. That gave us the readers an idea on how suspenseful he was after he drunk alcohol. In addition to Poe describes his need to replace the animal in order to feel peace and after doing so, he finds himself once again feeling a hatred toward the animal. He writes 'but gradually-very gradually- I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a pestance'.

The author leads the reader to the final stage of suspension when he dramatizes the conclusion of the story. He explains the sounds he heard in detail when the mystery unfolds regarding the missing cat he had not seen or heard from since the murder. He writes 'like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman-a howl-a wailing shriek, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the damned in their agony and the demons that exult in the damnation'.

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Psychological Changes Of The Main Character Of The Black Cat. (2021, September 22). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Psychological Changes Of The Main Character Of The Black Cat.” Edubirdie, 22 Sept. 2021,
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