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The Black Cat

The Black Cat

by Edgar Allan Poe

The Black Cat Analysis

Literary Devices in The Black Cat

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

If you are looking for information on one or the other of the black cats here in this section, we can understand why. These furry friends seem like symbols or allegories. However, we cover their sy...

Setting

Many Poe stories feature elaborately decorated rooms, described in great detail. If you've read "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Pit and the Pendulum," or "The Fall of the House of Usher" then y...

Narrator Point of View

A "first person" narrator is a narrator who is also a person. You know the narrator is a person because he or she uses pronouns like "I," and "me." By contrast, a "third person narrator" is not a d...

Genre

Horror or Gothic fiction can also be "sensation" fiction, a popular genre in Poe's day. Sensation stories were designed to work on the readers' senses. The characters experience scandalous feelings...

Tone

"Tone" is the way the story sounds, in your mind when you read silently, to your ear when you read aloud. We think that most of the sentences in "The Black Cat" have multiple tones, often seemingly...

Writing Style

There are lots of elements of style. Punctuation, sentence structure, word choice, length (of sentences, paragraphs, the story itself) are just a few. We chose "fancy" and "cryptic" to describe Poe...

What's Up With the Title?

The title prepares to the reader to be on the lookout for the black cat – it suggests that the cat is important to the story. This might sound obvious, but what if the story was called "A Wom...

What's Up With the Ending?

The story ends when the police find the dead body of the man's wife, with the cat on her head. On the one hand it's outrageous, and even funny. At the same time, when we think about just how close...

Plot Analysis

Death RowThe first thing we learn is that the nameless narrator is going to die the next day, and that he wants to write his story, which will be ugly. This story, the narrator says, is going to be...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

The narrator starts drinking.In this stage, the tragic hero is missing something in his life, and he might look for some "unusual" way to gain satisfaction. The nameless narrator of "The Black Cat,...

Three Act Plot Analysis

In Act I, the narrator moves from animal loving, happily married man, to hard drinking, cat killing, violent man. As the curtains close, we watch the man, his wife, and one member of the household...

Trivia

Apparently, Poe was considered really good looking. It's well-documented. (Source)Poe is reported to have been a cat owner. (Source)You can visit the house where Poe wrote "The Black Cat" – i...

Steaminess Rating

There doesn't seem to be any sex in this terrifying tale of murder, woe, and domestic violence.
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