Discuss the quotation-
And now was I indeed wretched beyond the wretchedness of mere Humanity. And a brute beast—whose fellow I had contemptuously destroyed—a brute beast to work out for me—for me a man, fashioned in the image of the High God—so much of insufferable woe!
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The sarcastic narrator of Poe's "The Black Cat" questions not the act of killing the cat and his wife; rather he questions the account of the act as an atrocity. There is clearly no remorse in the narrator who perversely perceives his tale as a "series of household events." His sardonic remarks "I pen," and "I blush" are meant to ridicule. Clearly, the lines cited exemplify his sarcasm as he even mocks God.
With many instances of irony in the story, there seems here to be a question about the narrator's perception of an animal as a brute, or "brute beast," and yet the narrator himself is the true "brute." The animals are innocent, guilty is seems only when the narrator, in his insanity, personifies the animals (especially the black cats) with human characteristics that anger him. It is ironic, too, that the narrator compares himself as being made "in the image of God," when the loving animals are more like God than the intelligent, civilized villain the speaker becomes.
The narrator here realises the horror of the deed he committed in killing the first cat, and that he is now being tortured by the second (or reincarnated) cat as punishment for his cruel actions. He is contemplating how he now sees that in taking the life of the creature he has debased his own humanity and is at the mercy of the lesser being, the second sinister cat.
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