Exploring Poe-tential Evil in “The Black Cat”

black catNot surprisingly, Poe mentions madness early in the story “The Black Cat.”  It’s kind of his shtick.  He starts where many horror writers start: at the end of the story, with a narrator recounting a tale of terror and travesty.  But unlike narrators in other stories, this narrator is damned by the events of the tale, and perhaps seeks solace in his retelling.  Also unlike narrators in other stories, he’s not sitting around a fireside, and so many horror stories (“The Monkey’s Paw,” “The Bodysnatchers,” “The Turn of the Screw,” to name a few) start by the fireside. Our narrator sits in a prison cell, but he does not expect your sympathy.  He is honest about his previous callousness.  Not only doesn’t he expect your sympathy; he doesn’t expect you to believe his story.  He proclaims: “For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief.  Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence.”  Poe knows how to write an introduction.  Are you intrigued yet?  I was. Continue reading “Exploring Poe-tential Evil in “The Black Cat””

Exploring Poe-tential Evil in “The Black Cat”