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The Black Cat And The Tell-Tale Heart: Short Story Analysis

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Edgar Allan Poe was a civilian from Boston he was an unstable person since his childhood. He had a hard childhood it all started with the death of his mother one year after his father abandoned the family. Poe was separated from his brother and was quickly placed in foster care, he was with a family that took care of him until the 18 years old, but they never adopted him, “The Allans, who were childless, renamed the boy Edgar Allan and raised him as their son, but they never adopted him legally”(Poe 604). He became an American writer who happened to understand his audience, but still he was unstable. He keep traveling looking for jobs from Boston to New York, and Philadelphia. He was best known because of his work; those short, scary, and mysterious stories that he used to write and as well because of his poetry. Poe wrote too many stories using the fatalities of his own life in some of them. Two of the scariest stories that he wrote were named as “ The Black Cat” and “ The Tell-Tale Heart”. In these two stories he design them in horrific style and both of them had in common an assassination by the main character. Poe wrote these stories with to many differences but digging deeply they also had so many similarities.

“The Black Cat” and “ The Tell-Tale Heart” have a few differences the fist of them could be the way the author starts narrating the story. In the story of “The Black Cat” poe starts entertaining the audience by telling them the love he had for animals. During his childhood he was around animals, “I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets”(Allan 670). When he got married he manages to make his wife love the animals the way he did. He starts his story with the traditional way getting his audience with the flow of mystery and making them wonder and anxious of wanting to find out about how the story is going to end. In other words from the beginning to the end. The main character of “The Black Cat” at first seems to be very lovely with his wife and his animals especially with the black cat named Pluto, “Pluto this was the cat’s name was my favorite pet and playmate”(Poe 671). The black cat happened to be his favorite pet. Through the story he tell his readers he had a big problem with alcohol which make him be aggressive with the animals and even with his beautiful wife.

However In the story “The Tell-Tale Heart” Edgar Allan Poe decides to start shocking his audience by telling his readers how the story is going to end and then he starts narrogin why, when, and how everything developed, “Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so, by degrees very gradually-I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thur rid myself of the eye forever”( Poe 666) . Poe after writing the end at the beginning of the story he tries to specify every detail of how everything happened so that way his readers could concentrate on every other detail about the story.

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Another clear difference between the stories is the anger that the main characters felt. In “The Black Cat” the main character harms an innocent animal and also a human who supposedly he was in love with. To his favorite pet he cut one of his eyes from the socket because one night when he got home drunk Pluto was avoiding him which got him really angry and aggressive. To his beautiful wife he killed her with an axe due to his anger because he was trying to kill the black cat and his wife interfere, “Goaded, by the interference, into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain” (poe 674). Every event occurred one night when he got home under the influence of the alcohol. The alcohol was his problem because with it he became very aggressive.

In “ The Tell-Tale Heart” the author tell us that he his problem is a disease but he doesn't specify what type of disease. Also we can tell that the main character was overwhelmed not by a animal or person but he was really annoyed by only one thing, the eye of an innocent old man who did nothing to him. He watched the man at night for seven days and he waited for the correct time to kill the old man with the mattress of the olds man bed. He had a everything plan and was waiting for the right time to perform his assassination. Another difference is how the murder was provoked and also how the bodies of the victims were found. In “The Black Cat” the police found the pieces of the body by themself and on “The Tell-Tale Heart” the killer confessed the crime because he tough the police was about to find out about the crime he had committed.

Even though these two scary stories had a different title they were very similar in many manners. In contrast both of the stories were published in the same year of 1843, both of them ended with the murder of one person, the main characters think that they are not insane also they got caught by the police. They somehow felt guilty because they thought they heard the victims. In the black cat was the voice of the wife and in “The Tell-Tale Heart” was heart of the old man. In both stories they cut the body in pieces and hide them in their own house. These two stories took place in a house. Additionally, the stories are narrowed by the assassin. Two stories with different titles but with so many similarities.

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The Black Cat And The Tell-Tale Heart: Short Story Analysis. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
“The Black Cat And The Tell-Tale Heart: Short Story Analysis.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
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