What's with Poe's narrators??
I am a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories. So far I've read a handful, and to me "The Black Cat" by far was the most disturbing. On thing I have noticed in Poe's stories is his use of strange narrators. Whether the narrators are unreliable, unstable, or mentally disturbed, they all add so much to the disturbing effects of the stories. I also often find myself having little or no remorse for these narrators. The narrator of "The Black Cat" is now at the top of my list for most hated characters. Poe's narrators always make trouble for themselves because they are so mentally insecure. I feel no remorse for them because they create their own problems. How am I to feel towards a character who kills cats and his wife and feels NO remorse for doing so? It's clear that alcohol plays a big role in this story. The narrators drunken mood swings leaves him unpredictable and growing more and more mad. Animals also play a huge role in Poe's work. It seems odd, in this story, that the animals are well-behaved, but the human is not. Typically it's the other way around. Perhaps Poe is purposely switching these roles for a purpose. He even has the human become a murder. Killing can be seen as more acceptable in the animal world because that is a part of animal life. Poe seems to be giving the narrator animal-like characteristics. It is possible that Poe is demonstrating how inhuman murder really is, and by having the narrator feel no remorse, the sense of inhumanity is intensified.