Essay on "Black Cat" Short Story Analysis

1020 Words Sep 4th, 2008 5 Pages
“The Black Cat” Analysis When reading a short story many people take the details given to be the unconditional truth. This is probably why so many of these people are confused or repulsed by a story like “The Black Cat.” Throughout the story, the narrator makes numerous contradictions. These contradictions, combined with his actions make me doubt the legitimacy and truth of what he says. In the first few paragraphs of the story, the narrator makes a point of rejecting the idea that he is mad. It almost seems as if he goes out of his way to reassure readers that he is indeed sane. It was at this point that I first got an inclination that the narrator was unreliable, either because he is insane, or just lying. The average person who …show more content…
I believe that alcohol really had little effect on his actions. He just attempted to find an excuse. Another thing that makes me doubt that the narrator is in a normal state of mind is his sense of guilt towards his actions. He seems to dwell more on the killing of the cat then than he does on the killing of his wife, which is in stark contrast with the focus of the authorities; he is on death row for killing his wife, not the cat. To the authorities, the cat is just an added atrocity. The wife is the real issue. By contrast, the narrator barely mentions his wife’s death after he describes the action itself. Did he not love his wife? What is it about the cat that causes him to fear and loathe it so much that he dismisses the killing of his wife as less important? When he kills the cat and cuts its eye out, he expresses regret. His regret is no where to be seen after the killing of his wife. In fact, he never mentions that he loves his wife the way he loves animals. From the start, the focus is on animals. His wife seems to play a secondary role. What sparks a seed of doubt in me, is that this way of thinking is so far out from the rest of the world, he cannot seriously expect us as readers to believe he is a normal human being.
Obviously the narrator’s actions cannot be pinned down to one factor, but his actions and his words seem to be in direct contradiction to each other, which would suggest that the truth of his information is

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