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The Black Cat A reflection of Edgar Allen Poe

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Although the story may be fictional, the story still masks the events that occurred in Poe’s life. From his fatal attraction to alcohol all the way to his enc ounter with the spirit of perverseness, Edgar Allen Poe tells of his tragedies behind a mask wh Ose title is, the black cat.

The fictional narrative is based upon the narrator’s situation with the effects o f alcohol abuse. His actions with this alcohol has affected his whole life. Instead of seei ng the narrator himself needs help, he blames it on the black cat. The Black Cat is symbolic fo r all the wrongs in the narrator’s life, a scapegoat.

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The cat is maltreated every time something go es wrong with the narrator, it is the outcome of his alcohol abuse. As it is explained in the story, the narrator was the victim of a “Fiend Intemperance” (Poe 6). By the day he grew more moody, more irritable, and more regardless of the feelings of others (Poe 6).

He knows that his exces Sive indulgence of Espinosa 2 alcohol is very impactful on his life, for he has seen it and admitted to it himse If. He morphs into a completely different persons when he consumes this substance.

He takes o n a different personality, one that is completely different from his animal loving and affecti nate self that he used to be (Poe 2). This shows only a piece of Edgar Allan Poe’s life. This is inst ance in which Poe tells his story in his work, Poe became addicted to alcohol in college. It wa s sort of an escape from the pains that his father had inflicted on him mentally. He starte d to increase his intake of alcohol toward the later part of his life, more specifically, after the d eath of his beloved wife (bMNw. Biography. om). The first step to any form of recovery of any subst ance abuse is to admit you have done something wrong. The next step is to admit that the sub tance has made a major impact on your life. Poe expresses his true feelings about alcohol throu gh the mask of the narrator. It was not the narrator who consumed the alcohol, but it was the alcohol that consumed the narrator. “But my disease grew upon me – for what disease is like alcohol! ” is written in the story, which tells that he indeed was a victim of this substance (Poe 6).

Both P oe and his adopted father both relate to each other because of their use of alcohol ( www. Biography. com Even though Poe did not like his abusive adopted father, he knew that little by little e was becoming more and more like him. The story tells us that the narrator became more ab usive when he consumed the alcohol, he abuses his wife and the black cat to a certain degre e; mentally or physically. Which made every creature terrified of him. This narrative may sho w case how Poe’s adoptive father was to everyone.

Even though Poe hated him with a deep fier y passion, he saw that the alcohol was making him just like his father. Poe imagined himself in t he place of his father; abusing everyone he loves and sees that he has endangered everyone that he loves. Poe Espinosa 3 eels guilty about this sin and confesses he has done wrong, but he does this t hrough the narrator of This is why the narrator and Poe are so well connected. There is one part of the story which proves that The narrator and Poe’s adopti ve father are connected. l suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At ength, even offered her personal violence (Poe 6). Poor little Edgar was abused by his Fath er, but he was not the only one who was tortured by the Fathers temperament. The mother was also abused by Poe’s Adopted father. Poe saw all women as angelic figures, so that’s why he would never lay a inger on anyone. Even though he never laid a finger on poor Virginia, he still f elt that he was killing her because he let her suffer through the disease, like some caged rat. He left her to be the victim of death ( ).

The after effects of Poe’s abuse of alcohol are masked through the narrator, but the victim side of Poe is masked by the blacked cat. Poe was haunted by something that was beyond his control, some would call this ‘thing” a spirit. This spirit was over both Poe and the narrator. It is the spirit of perver described in the story’, the spirit of perverseness was the final overthrow of th narrator. It was what inflicted pain on the animals and the people that the narrator loved. It v exed the soul and pained it in the most unfathomable way. It also did wrong for wrongs sake (Po e 9).

The narrator shows that this spirit did have a role in his life, specifically with the abuse of th e cat. Even though he has seen the abuse firsthand, he still manages and continues to dri nk. All these actions led to the murder of his wife. This was the consequence of his drinking. He tra veled down that road; one where he knew the destination. One major instance where the spiri t of perverseness ook place in Poe’s life was when Poe’s father forced him to become a busines sman. Once Poe’s father received message that Poe wanted to be a poet, he cut him off.

There was no major reason Espinosa 4 for doing this, he hated Poe for hate’s sake. He cut off Poe instead of loving hi m; a real act of perverseness. Another important act Of perverseness is the suffering Of Virgin ia. Poe knew it was wrong to let such an angelic creature to suffer in agony and in pain. This ties h im to the narrator because of the pain that the narrator inflicted on the cat. The narrator knew it was wrong to harm he cat, but he still did it anyways. Last, but certainly not least, the greatest wo rk of the spirit; Poe’s drinking problem. He knew it caused some pain for those around him.

He knew what was to come out of this bad habit that he took part in. Guess what? He still continu ed to do it anyway. He became a slob in college, reached rock bottom after the death of his belov ed Virginia. He became, even more so Of, an alcoholic ( When the narrator hangs the first Black cat he feels, “… bitter remorse” (Poe 8) . He knew that the cat loved him, but he didn’t feel much love for the cat anymore. The b lack cat is a symbolic representation of two things; Poe’s love for Virginia and Poe himself. For one, when Poe was younger he adored women and saw them as angelic beings.

The wo men are juxtaposed with that of the animals that the narrator loves in the narrative. But, unlike th e narrator, Poe still holds a heart for the things that he once loved, for instance, Virginia. Although he does torture Virginia by letting her live through her terminal disease, he still loves her. Poe, in the sense of the cat, is victimized by his adoptive father. He was cut off from all financial ti s of his father. Poe’s father thought of Poe as dead. He did not want anything to do with him. He basically killed him, in spirit just as the narrator did to the cat.

The cat, Poe, still loved his mas ter even though his master abused him severely. Although Poe did not really love his father, h e still paid Mr. Allen some respect. Espinosa 5 The narrator murders the cat because he feels that it is the cause for all the s uffering and all the troubles in his life. He feels that it is the right punishment for the cat, e ven though he, the narrator, is not in what most call “a sober state. The cat has wronged the nar rator not once, but the narrator still tortures him in the ways that he did, which is significant beca use of Poe’s struggle with Virginia.

He knows that the right thing to do is put Virginia out of her misery and to stop letting it suffer, but he does not do it. She dies not by the hand of any one, but she dies naturally ( The cat is an outward representation of the abuse that Poe feels he inflicted on Virginia by not putting her out of her misery. Finally, the black cat is the physical representation of all the things that “went wrong” in Poe’s life. Bad luck followed him like a shadow, just as the cat did in a stalkeris hlike manner (Poe 18). This shadow followed the narrator around just as death seemed to f ollow Poe.

No women could dwell in Poe’s life for a substantial amount of time. Every wome n, or girl that he loved seemed to die shortly. It all started with his mom, then went on to his a unt, and then it finally took his beloved wife (www. biography. com). But death was not the onl y stalker in Poe’s life. It seemed to be that pain and long suffering seemed to follow him as well ” of unutterable fear… n incarnate, nightmare that I had no power to shake off incumbent up on my heart! ” (Poe 20). This pain that followed Poe was something that could never be shak en off, as he so describes through the mask of the narrator.

The things stalking both Poe and the narrator both made them feel a sense a fear and guilt. Both spirits make Poe and the Narrat or feel very emotional, because of the events that occurred. We all have a black cat that follows us wherever we go, whether it be physical symbolic we are all bound to be be followed. The black cat, in the narrative, se rved as a mask for Espinosa 6 ultiple things; Poe’s suffering from the treatment of his father, Virginia, and the spirit that followed Poe wherever he went.

Cite this The Black Cat A reflection of Edgar Allen Poe

The Black Cat A reflection of Edgar Allen Poe. (2017, Jul 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-black-cat-a-reflection-of-edgar-allen-poe-42840/

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