Suspense In Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat

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What gives the reader that feeling of being on the edge of their seat? Why would he want the reader to anticipate what’s going to happen next? That is how the author expresses tension. The author does this by using literary devices. Edgar Allen Poe builds suspense in “The Black Cat” by using specific literary devices—foreshadowing, allusion, and slow pace. The author increases the feeling of anxiety in the story by using foreshadowing. For example, after the narrator obtains the second black cat, he notices that the white patch on the second cat’s chest is forming into something. When the narrator realizes what the shape of the patch on the beast chest is, he states, “It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to have—and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared—it was how, I say, the image of a hideous—of a ghastly thing—of the GALLOWS!” (Poe 4) The following night after the narrator kills the cat, the house catches on fire and the next day the narrator comes back to the house to see the ruins and came to see a group of people around a strange bas relief on the wall. The narrator was terrified when he saw what the bas relief was and the narrator writes, “There had been a rope about the animal’s neck” (Poe 3).…show more content…
Early into the story the wife makes frequent allusion, “all black cats are witches in disguise” (Poe 1), which is a popular ancient notation. This tells the reader that they should be suspicious of Pluto because he could possibly be a witch. When the narrator introduces Pluto to the reader he writes “Pluto—this was the cats name” (Poe 1). In Roman mythology Pluto is the god of the underworld. So when the narrator does all those horribly things to him and all this weird stuff start happening, it makes the reader nervous to know if Pluto could actually be the one causing this stuff to
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