The Black Cat
How we cite our quotes:
I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. (6)
We might not want to hang out with him, but the man seems bluntly honest here. Have you ever felt the way the narrator describes himself in this passage? Come on, it's OK to admit it. In the case of the man, this "day by day" never seems to stop. It seems to apply month by month, and year by year by year, erupting constantly into violence.
My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. (6)
This is a chilling moment. It's hard to get over. Something about "ill-used" is particularly disturbing, maybe because it leaves so much to the imagination. When the narrator blinds Pluto, we know exactly what went down. It's painful, but there is only so far our imaginations can take it.
I took from my waistcoat pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! (7)
What a coincidence. We were just talking about this. While the less detailed quote above might be scarier if we think about it for a while, we might miss it if we're reading fast. Not so with this moment. It's short, to the point, and not as open to misinterpretation.