A Couple Thoughts on Poe's "The Black Cat"

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In the opening lines of Poe's "The Black Cat," the narrator says, in regards to the wild story, "I neither expect nor solicit belief." It seems like I've seen this sort of introduction in a lot of Poe's short stories that I've read this year, but I like this opening because it makes the story seem a little more real. By admitting the story is hard to believe, the narrator gets the reader to buy into the story just a little more than usual. After all, many people have their own anecdotes and personal experiences that are almost beyond belief.
The narrator also says he is not mad, which does pull the reader in a little farther, but the details later in the story tend to blow this statement away.

A little further into the story, the narrator recalls his wife alluding the cat to the superstition of black cats being witches. Which instantly suggests, to the active reader, a bit of foreshadowing. But Poe is just as quick as the seasoned reader and the narrator immediately points out that he includes this information simply because he "just now... remembered."

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The cat in this story could just very well have been a witch. A cat that died, a new cat that is almost identical not a coincidence I think. And the ultimate revenge of getting the narrator arrested in the end is really crafty.

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This page contains a single entry by PatrickSchober published on October 23, 2010 1:43 PM.

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