Oedipus The Black Cat Analysis

1043 Words5 Pages
Why is it that when passing an accident on the side of the road people slow down only to slow traffic, causing yet another accident. In Oedipus Rex, perhaps the most famous example of this theme in literature, Oedipus attempts to avoid a damning deed (killing his father and sleeping with his mother) only to have his own preventative actions lead to the deed itself. A clear conflict arises in Oedipus Rex, between what Oedipus wants to do and what he is restricted to do by societal normalities. In Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat, an unnamed narrator recites the recent events that landed him on death row, and tells just why he is to be executed the following day. He attempts to explain his sanity in spite of a supernatural cat leading him to kill…show more content…
The two cats are stated to be almost identical in nature. They are both abnormally large, black, missing an eye, and extremely “sagacious (64).” The only notable difference of course being the white spot on the second cat’s chest that eventually turns into gallows, which is significant as reminds the narrator he hung the first cat. These two cats represent the two sides of the narrator’s personality. The earlier cat’s innocence allows it to be the victim of the narrator’s actions. The second cat, on the other hand, is the cause of the narrator’s actions in the latter half of the story. He described the cat as having an annoying, almost omnipresent nature. The second cat exercises complete psychological control over our main character, and in the end it is this second cat that does him in and reveals his murder to the police. While the earlier cat represents the narrator’s tendency to follow the law or society, the second cat represents the narrator’s rebellion against that very law, and complete rejection. In a broader scope, Poe uses this doubling to show how the animalistic curiosity of the second cat will always eventually exert greater control over the narrator’s

More about Oedipus The Black Cat Analysis

Open Document