Alcoholism In Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Black Cat'

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n the beginning of The Black Cat, the narrator tells us that he is sentenced to die the following day and decides to tell us the chain of events that had led him to this. He describes some unlikely events and hint at a possible supernatural involvement. Some tales are hard to believe, especially when the narrator repeatedly talks about his addiction to alcohol. Alcoholism can explain some of the narrator’s compulsive behaviors, aggression, self-destructive behaviors, and at the beginning, guilt. But this doesn’t explain the mental confusion, lack of restraint, inappropriate emotional responses, and, as the story progresses, lack of remorse, and why he may have seen or heard things that aren't real. All of these are symptoms of schizophrenia…show more content…
But the narrator’s personality completely changes and take a turn for the worse. The narrator confesses that the change in his character is due to an excessive amount of alcohol and that with every day his disease grows worse. He becomes aggressive and starts to beat his wife and his animals. But we get our first glimpse at the narrator’s schizophrenia when he finally snaps and cuts out one of his cat’s eye. He experiences feelings of remorse and horror after but describes these feeling as feeble and soon continued with his wayward ways. When he notices that the cat is avoiding him he has some feelings of guilty but that soon turns into irritation that grows into perverseness. This is when we see the narrator become a full blown schizophrenic. In cold blood, he ties a noose around Pluto’s neck and hangs the cat in a tree. His reasons for killing Pluto was because he knew that once, the cat had loved him and because it was the wrong thing to do and wanted to do it anyway. He wanted to destroy his humanity, to sin, and damn himself beyond the reach of God’s mercy. This lack of restraint, of remorse, and need to inflict harm on himself and other is a huge red flag and from here it can only get
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