Black Cat Poe

“I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fiber of my frame.” – Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”

“Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates–the darkest and most evil of thoughts.” – Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”

“The Black Cat” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in the August 19, 1843, edition of The Saturday Evening Post.

Illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley (1894–1895)

One of Poe’s darkest tales, “The Black Cat” includes his strongest denouncement of alcohol. The narrator’s perverse actions are brought on by his alcoholism, a “disease” and “fiend” which also destroys his personality

Cat is named Pluto; a neutral character at the beginning of the story, he becomes antagonistic in the narrator’s eyes once the narrator becomes an alcoholic. The alcohol pushes the narrator into fits of intemperance and violence, to the point at which everything angers him – Pluto in particular, who is always by his side, becomes the malevolent witch who haunts him even while avoiding his presence.

The Black Cat, 1934, starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff

“In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise.” – Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”

“…my disease grew upon me–for what disease is like Alcohol!–and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish–even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper.” – Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”

The fire that destroys the narrator’s house symbolizes the narrator’s “almost complete moral disintegration”.The only remainder is the impression of Pluto upon the wall, which represents his unforgivable and incorrigible sin

Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart–one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man.”
– Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”

Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart–one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man.”
– Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”

“For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat; and, during this period, there came back into my spirit a half-sentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me, among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place.”
– Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”

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One thought on “Black Cat Poe

  1. Pingback: E.A.POE | TOP-CLASS-CLUB

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