How does "The Black Cat" relate to Edgar Allan Poe's life?

Expert Answers info

Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write1,161 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Poe's story "The Black Cat" carries many details of his own personal life, like many of his stories. One major commonality in his stories is an unreliable, alcoholic narrator.

Edgar Allan Poe struggled with alcoholism his entire life, eventually leading to his untimely death. This is echoed in the narrator of the story here, who is a raging alcoholic who can't be trusted to accurately relate the details of the story.

Beyond the alcoholism that is evident in Poe's life and the story, this tale also features the death of a beloved female character. The narrator's wife dies at a young age, leaving him distraught and heartbroken. In Poe's own life, this is clearly seen, as his mother and other beloved women die at a young age, leaving him forlorn and alone.

Finally, there is a level and sense of guilt that pervades the story. Because of the death and the alcoholism that Poe and the narrator both endure, they feel a hefty weight of guilt and responsibility for he events around themselves....

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 904 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashly Hintz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Tutor

bookB.S. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


calendarEducator since 2019

write726 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,282 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lenny Wiza eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,495 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

McKinstry Rose eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,976 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial