Short Story Essay
Professor James Wyatt
November 4th, 2015
Ode to The Black Cat
The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe is a work of Gothic Fiction, a subgenre of Gothic Horror, which combines fiction, horror, death and Romanticism. This short story is in first person point of view, and is told from a jail cell on death row by an unnamed narrator. The narrator tells the reader all about his love for animals and his mild and kind qualities that he’s had since birth. Pluto, a large, smart, black cat, is the narrator’s favorite out of those in his home. The narrator becomes a completely different person when he begins drinking and starts to physically and verbally abuse his wife and pets. Anger getting the best of him, he cuts Pluto’s eye out with a pocket knife. A few days later, he winds up tying a noose around the cat’s neck and hanging it from a tree, killing it. The narrator claims to have done this because he knew it was wrong to do so in the first place.
On the night of the cat’s murder, the narrator’s house burns down, and he loses all of his valuables in said fire. The narrator, his wife and one servant are the only ones to make it out alive. When the narrator returns to the remains of his home a few days later, his bedroom wall is the only thing left standing. On the bedroom wall is an impression of a cat with a rope around its neck, as if someone had thrown the cat through the window to wake the narrator and the cat had stuck to the wall for