Critics initially believe that this story is not about morals or whether the act of killing the pet cat he loved was good or evil. This Story rather stressed the strong anatomy of a person with a dark mind and/or the dark mind itself (Wing-chi). Critics believe Poe, by choice, does not emphasize morals in his fiction (Wing-chi). Even if “The Black Cat” was meant to be about having a good morality basis in life, all that would go out the window because of the “act of sin” committed in this story. The narrator starts off the story off very, maybe even too nonchalant.
This also gives a clue as to where the narrator and author are psychologically. He writes “Yet will not attempt to expound them” (Poe 520) when explaining how exactly he is going to tell this story of unfortunate events, showing that he is not going to focus on the bad of the story, but the simple facts and events. In the beginning of the story he displays he did not wish to emphasize the killing of the cat, but simply wanted to tell of the acts he committed and the consequences. The narrator does not focus on the moral concerns of the crime such as guilt, fear, or worry (Wing, Chi).
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The narrator rather focuses on placing a “series of household events” (Poe 519) before the world. The narrator focuses on telling the story of his own experiences with the cat, depicting pleasant thoughts and memories only to recall those specific memories later for his own comfort or despise. Initially he loves animals and he even goes as far as to tell us his experience with animals as a child. This is another example of how this story focuses on the dark mind of the narrator and not of the crime.
Surely, but slowly, he grows moody and irritable, but does not explain why or if any events led up to the carelessness of the feelings of others. Offering personal violence to his wife and even started to maltreat the pets he owned. Assume this is the time he became a slave to alcohol as it assisted him to the crime. He also gives no reason as to why he would start abusing alcohol but goes mention that he had a problem with it. Possibly the narrator mentions this as an excuse to his actions. After killing his first cat, randomly, he becomes fond of another black cat physically similar to the first one.
He hoped to do everything right this time because when the hatred starts to develop for THIS cat he was a slightly disturbed. “This was just the reverse of what I had anticipated… ” (Poe 522). He says he is ashamed to admit his dread for the cat. The hate for the cat took over his life. He let his dreadfulness take over his thoughts and feelings when the cat was around. “Evil thoughts became my ole intimates-?the darkest and most evil” (Poe 523). He even let it interfere with his saneness when a blow meant for the cat ended with his wife’s murder.
His insanity was the only thing that seemed to keep him calm when he committed these crimes. The narrator explains how he not only grew moody with his pets but with his wife as well. Ann Bliss suggests that the reason for his actions is because the narrator was very feminine as a child and as a husband and man. She criticizes that he did not show his masculinity in everyday life, so when committing these crimes he showed masculinity. “Poe situates the story within the household, hush aligning the narrator with the feminizes domestic sphere.
The male narrators feminine traits are apparent, and he struggles to recast this inappropriate femininity into a sensitive masculinity. He attempts to actively maintain a benign persona that masks his femininity; however, he performs a kind of hyper masculinity that manifests itself in increasingly horrific acts of violence” (Bliss). There are a lot of excuses and reasons to why the narrator committed these crimes, but no one will ever criticize or say themes to the fact that the narrator was insane. The nonchalant tone and the feminine traits are all what make the narrator s crazy as he is.