What Goes Around Comes Around. Speaks Of "The Black Cat," By Edgar Allan Poe

1443 words - 6 pages

In his story "The Black Cat," Edgar Allan Poe dramatizes his experience with madness,and challenges the readers suspension of disbelief by using imagery in describing the plot andcharacters. Poe uses foreshadowing to describe the scenes of sanity versus insanity. He writes "forthe most wild yet homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor illicit belief. Yetmad I am not- and surely do I not dream," alerts the reader about a forthcoming story that will testthe boundaries of reality and fiction. The author asserts his belief of the activities described in thestory when he states "to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul"(80).Poe describes his affectionate ...view middle of the document...

Poe firstillustrates this madness when he uses imagery to describe the brutal scene with the cat when hewrites "I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by thethroat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket!"The author describes his emotional and physical state of being during the unthinkable actas "I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity"(81). He describes the morningaftereffect of his actions when he states "when reason returned with the morning-when I had sleptoff the fumes of the night's debauch-I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, forthe crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocable feeling, and thesoul remained untouched"(81). Now Poe implies to the readers that he has truly crossed over intomadness by brutally attacking the animal and feeling little or no remorse.Next Poe dramatizes his change in character even further when he writes "and then came,as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS,"(81) which onceagain alerts the reader of new events so shocking that reading forward becomes an essentiality.The author illustrates a scene so outrageous that the reader has to go beyond the suspension ofdisbelief they have agreed to participate in. He writes "One morning, in cold blood, I slipped anoose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree;-hung it with tears streaming from my eyes,and with the bitterest remorse at my heart;-hung it because I knew that it had loved me, andbecause I felt it had given me no reason of offense;-hung it because I knew that in so I wascommitting a sin-a deadly sin that would jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it-if such a thingwere possible- even beyond the reach of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God"(81-82).Now the reader has crossed over the line of reality versus fiction. The author continues toillustrate the inconceivable story when he describes the scene after the fire that destroyed everypart of the house except the one wall that was still standing. Poe writes "I approached and saw, asif graven in bas-relief upon the white surface the figure of a gigantic cat and there was a ropearound the animals neck,"(82) leading the readers to join the madness and believe that this was thesame cat that Poe had savagely destroyed earlier that same day.The author describes his need to replace the animal...

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