Examples Of Alcoholism In The Black Cat

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The Black Cat and Alcoholism

Written in August 19,1843, The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe is the account of a drunkard who kills not only his cat, but his wife for no logical reasons, other than rage and paranoia brought from the evils of alcohol. This narrative is quite conducive with Poe’s personal views, as he was strongly against the recreational use of alcohol, contrary to popular belief.

The Narrator of The Black Cat details his upbringing, describing himself, possibly falsely, as a kind child who loved animals almost unconditionally. He recounts his teenage years and his early marriage. The marriage he reveals was slowly damaged with the rise of his addiction to alcohol, as to why his rampant need of alcohol started, we are never told. The narrator discusses his black cat, one which his wife, also a lover of animals, had gotten him.

Eventually the Narrator recounts, “One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight
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I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat, a very large one, fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the
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