Similarities Between The Oval Portrait And The Black Cat

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One of the most influential states of the mind, obsession, causes either a life-changing impact for an individual or the destruction of the individual, at which point it becomes an addiction. Edgar Allan Poe, born on January 19, 1809, was a struggling writer of his time, who expressed man’s descent into insanity through obsession in The Tell-Tale Heart, The Oval Portrait and The Black Cat. In the first story, The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator was obsessed about the old man’s eye which caused the character to murder him. In the second story, The Oval Portrait, the character read a historical volume where a man was obsessed about painting his wife, which caused the accidental death of the wife. In the third one, The Black Cat, a man, who was a suffered from alcoholism, was obsessed about the cat that he killed and was unsatisfied by a new cat he got, hoping it to be a sort of a makeshift for his dead cat. All three stories bear striking similarities, as well as noteworthy differences in terms of the contributing elements.

In all of the stories, the narrator had a different perspective towards the obsession which led to madness. In The Black Cat, the narrator was the one to fall under the hands of obsession and showed signs that he was aware of his descent, but was completely helpless to stop it. In The Tale-Tell Heart, the narrator was victimized by obsession, but unlike in The Black Cat, he showed no indication that he was able to understand anything other than of his own
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