The Black Cat is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. The plot follows a man named Mr. Pemberton, who has recently moved into a house, and the narrator’s friend, Mr. White. The protagonist soon gets married to his wife which brings in a pet cat for his wife. The cat wasn’t cared for because it would always slip out of its collar, causing the protagonist to tie a tight band around its neck. The cat soon becomes the protagonist’s favorite pet because it is noticeably more affectionate than his wife, who never demonstrated any feelings for him before he married her.
The story also mentions that Mr. White has a black cat named Pluto, but does not have much interest in it. As the protagonist begins to develop affection for his new pet, he starts to neglect his duties as husband by staying up late into night talking with his pet and neglecting his wife’s demands for attention. One night, while drunk, the protagonist decides to take out an old wound on the eye of the cat with a knife laced with brandy. The bleeding is intense and the protagonist decides to take the cat out for a walk at midnight since it is no longer his priority.
The story describes how Mr. Pemberton escapes by getting rid of all evidence, but the next day at noon, his wife’s screams are heard throughout the neighborhood. The police soon show up but Mr. Pemberton escapes with Pluto before they enter the house. The police then find Mrs Pemberton cut into seventeen pieces that were scattered across their property, along with her head which was still talking despite being separated from its body by more than three yards of space. The story ends with Mr. Pemberton hearing about what happened and telling himself “I am safe”, though he never truly safe until he faced the gallows.
The story ends with the ominous line “For the blood of that cat, I would nearly have faced my own. ” The description given by this line is chilling because it appears to be an afterthought thought without any serious implications towards what he has already done. The black cat was always Mr Pemberton’s favorite pet, but in the end, this character’s actions lead him down a path of unrest and destruction; his black cat was actually his undoing. The main theme for The Black Cat is hypocrisy due to how much Pemberton values his pet yet gleefully decides to mutilate it when under alcoholic influence.
He claims that he loves his wife more than anything else which leads her into misery and despair. The author uses The Black Cat to state that a person’s true character will be revealed when they are under immense pressure or have consumed alcohol. The story also illustrates how easily an individual can turn violent and cruel due to emotions such as anger or lust. The short story The Black Cat contains elements of mystery, suspense, and horror which make it a popular read for many literature enthusiasts.
The story has been well received because of the author’s usage of dark themes such as betrayal and violence. The Black Cat is praised for its ability to convey messages about hypocrisy and malevolence through the perspective of various characters in one single environment; this particular aspect makes The Black Cat stand out from other stories written by Edgar Allan Poe. There is no clear evidence as to when The Black Cat short story was written by Edgar Allan Poe, but most scholars believe it was written during his early writing career in the 1830s.
The Black Cat has been mentioned as one of Poe’s best stories ever because of its ability to convey messages about deception and madness through the perspective of several characters living within one household. The story The Black Cat is considered a horror story because of its dark themes such as violence and betrayal; however, there are no acts of supernatural or paranormal events that take place throughout the story. The most frightening aspect surrounding The Black Cat is how easily it can potentially happen within real life settings.
The main character Mr Pemberton serves as an example for readers regarding how cruel humans can truly be towards animals simply for a sense of enjoyment. The Black Cat has been widely appreciated for its ability to make readers feel as if they were present during the story’s environment; this is due to how Poe uses language and various attributes of narrators throughout The Black Cat. The Black Cat short story serves as an educational story that warns individuals against the dangers of drinking alcohol, especially when emotions such as rage or lust are involved.
The short story The Black Cat holds an average rating on Goodreads, 4. 3/5 stars with over 2600 ratings from book enthusiasts who have given their opinion about Edgar Allan Poe’s work on The Black Cat. The famous writer Stephen King states there is only one author in the history of literature whose writing truly gives him nightmares, which is Edgar Allan Poe. The Black Cat short story is often cited as the main reason for this because it succeeds in making individuals feel chills while reading about cruel events that happen between its characters.
The popularity of The Black Cat has led to various adaptations of the same name; there are several films and comics which share the original title written by Edgar Allan Poe. The creator of Batman, Bob Kane, was inspired by The Black Cat when creating his own comic series including The Batman; The Black Cat’s urban atmosphere serves as an example for how he envisioned Gotham City to be like. The inspiration behind The Black Cat short story came from a real life event where Edgar Allan Poe claimed he saw a black cat cross his path on multiple occasions before publishing one of his most famous works The Raven in 1845.
The short story The Black Cat takes place in a village setting and begins with the main character Mr Pemberton’s goal to destroy his alcoholic and violent side, which he established following an accident causing him to lose one of his eyes . The Black Cat follows several characters within multiple households; these characters include Grasp (Mr. Pemberton’s servant), Peter (Mr. Pemberton’s son), Mrs. Pemberton (Mr. Pemberton’s wife), and Nero (the family pet cat).
The story starts with Mr. Pemberton claiming that he wishes to dedicate more time towards caring for his son and wife when tragedy strikes in the form of a fire destroying their household along with The Black Cat. The second half of The Black Cat short story revolves around the relationship between Mr Pemberton and The Black Cat, where multiple acts of violence are committed by The Black Cat against Mr. Pemberton following an act of betrayal. The second half concludes with The Black Cat murdering Mr Pemberton’s son Peter after wanting to escape its own master due to fear of being murdered as well.