Is the main character in "The Black Cat" mentally ill?What type of psychological illness do you believe he suffered from?

5 Answers

linda-allen's profile pic

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

Posted on

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!


User Comments

desireaaa's profile pic

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

Posted on

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

ashley90's profile pic

ashley90 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

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