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Is the main character in "The Black Cat" mentally ill?What type of...

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lindsayrana | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 4, 2008 at 11:53 AM via web

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Is the main character in "The Black Cat" mentally ill?

What type of psychological illness do you believe he suffered from?

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ashley90 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 5, 2008 at 12:24 AM (Answer #1)

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Technically there is no showing of a psychological illness in the story. It merely shows that the narrator is an alcoholic

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 5, 2008 at 7:58 AM (Answer #2)

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Does Poe have any happy, well-adjusted characters in his stories?

The narrator blames what he does on the "Fiend Intemperance," or alcohol. Some have said that alcohol brings out the worst in people or that alcohol is used as a way to self-medicate. We can make a case for both options: that he's not mentally ill but just a mean drunk or that he is mentally ill and the alcoholism is masking it.

If he is mentally ill, perhaps he has some form of psychosis or what is called a personality disorder. I've pasted a link to the Mayo Clinic's page on personality disorders below.

There's one big clue that the narrator is insane: At the beginning of the story he says he is not insane. There's an old saying that if you say you're not crazy, you probably are.

By the way, my black cat is doing just fine!


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lesli93 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 13, 2008 at 1:46 AM (Answer #3)

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no the charecter in " The Black Cat" is not mantally ill he just has drinking and anger issues.

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desireaaa | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 15, 2008 at 2:13 AM (Answer #4)

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there is no givig evidence that the man was mentally ill, it just says that he was a raging alchoholic.

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nikki210 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 17, 2008 at 1:26 AM (Answer #5)

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he suffered from drinking alot

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