Questions and Answers for The Black Cat

The Black Cat

What are the differences and similarities between "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe?  

As one would expect from Edgar Allan Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” both deal with grotesque, horrific events carried out by men with serious mental health problems. In the latter,...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2020 2:12 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

What is a theme from the story "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe?

One theme of "The Black Cat" is that of transformation. Poe's unreliable narrator undergoes both physical and psychological transformations throughout the narrative. From the beginning, this...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2017 2:01 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat," what does the second cat (with the patch on his neck) remind the narrator of?

The narrator of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" explicitly states that the second cat reminds him of Pluto, the first cat that he mistreated and killed. However, as the narrator spends more time...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2016 5:34 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

What is the setting of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe?

I would argue that there are a few important settings in this macabre story. The first is the jail cell in which we meet our nameless narrator. He knows he has no hope of making it out of prison,...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2020 7:07 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Black Cat

What is the symbol and irony in the story "The Black Cat" and how is it being used in the story?  I'm...

The black cat symbolizes the state of the narrator's soul-which is black, mutilated, and decaying. The black cat is symbolic because it is the cat's meowing that draws attention to the wall, and...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2008 8:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What made the narrator kill his wife in "The Black Cat"?

To properly answer the question of what made the narrator kill his wife in the short story "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, it is important to briefly go over the sequence of events and the...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2020 7:45 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Black Cat

Why did the narrator get caught by the police in "The Black Cat"?

The fact that the narrator gets caught is an example of his distorted view of reality. From the opening line the narrator tells the reader that he has a "wild" story to tell, but that it is...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2012 4:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

As the story opens, the narrator is in jail, awaiting his execution on the following day. Find and write two of the...

In the very first paragraph of the story, the first- person narrator says, “But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul.” He knows that he is going to die tomorrow for the crime of...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2020 1:40 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat," what or who is the conflict between? How does the conflict have an effect on the reader?

As with many of Poe’s characters, the narrator in “The Black Cat” is deeply conflicted, not only with society but also with himself. For quite some time he’s been possessed by an urge to kill, an...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2020 10:49 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Black Cat

What is the narrator's immediate purpose in Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Black Cat"?

In the opening paragraph of Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Black Cat," the narrator states that his "immediate purpose is to place before the world ... a series of mere household events." In...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2015 6:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

"The Black Cat" features a heavy use of dashes that create long, cumbersome sentences, and accentuate the...

Edgar Allen Poe loves to use dashes in his work. He uses them frequently in "The Black Cat," along with other works such as "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Tell-Tale Heart." Indeed, these...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2016 12:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

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

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...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2019 3:14 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat," what is the significance of the cat's name, Pluto?

The name of Pluto is very metaphorical and allegorical in Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Black Cat. First, Pluto is the name given in Roman Mythology to the god of the underworld, or...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2010 7:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What is the tone and mood of "The Black Cat"?

The tone of a work is an author's attitude or feelings toward the subject matter. The tone of a piece of writing is often expressed through the author's writing style and diction. The tone of Edgar...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2020 2:44 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, how do the narrator's feelings differ when he kills the cat and when he kills...

The narrator in "The Black Cat" is an obvious sociopath, incapable of feeling true remorse or guilt. Nevertheless, as he tells his tale, he recounts a regression into further depths of depravity....

Latest answer posted April 6, 2016 4:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat," how does the narrator describe himself?

The narrator in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Black Cat" is a self-professed animal lover, who claims to be a tender soul, a humanist, and a completely sane and loving character. The narrator says, My...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2017 4:16 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

How did the police discover the wife's body in "The Black Cat"?

The final lines of this chilling and rather disturbing gothic short story answer this question. The narrator, having thought that he had committed the perfect crime when he killed his wife and then...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2013 7:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

How does Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" reveal an unreliable narrator?

The narrator of the story "The Black Cat" can certainly be considered unreliable due to his alcoholism and his account of his sudden and drastic change in character. Formerly, the narrator had been...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2019 6:19 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

Describe the characters in The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe.

In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story "The Black Cat," the main character, other than the two cats prominently featured in Poe’s story, is the unnamed narrator. The story is told in retrospective style...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2014 3:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

The narrator tells us that he never had any troubles until he began drinking alcohol, yet there is evidence in the...

While it's true that the narrator of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" initially blames alcoholism for his change in behavior and evil acts, as the story progresses, he adds other details that...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2018 8:44 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat," how did the narrator change over the years?

If we are to believe the narrator of “The Black Cat”—and that's a pretty big if—he used to be a kind, considerate human being with a sentimental attachment to animals. Back in the day, his house...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2020 12:49 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

Discuss the supernatural element as portrayed by Edgar Allan Poe in "The Black Cat."

"The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe has elements of the supernatural common in many of Poe's short stories and poetry. The black cat that lives with the main character appears supernatural. The idea...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2011 2:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What are some examples of suspense in "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe?

After the narrator has cut out the eye of his cat, Pluto, he feels some remorse and horror at his behavior, and the cat wisely avoids him as they coexist. However, once the narrator announces, "and...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2018 7:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What are the symbols throughout the story of the black cat in Poe's "The Black Cat"? Also, how did Poe establish an...

Poe establishes an atmosphere of fear and horror in several different ways in "The Black Cat." Firstly, the narrator, who is telling the story from the first person point of view, describes himself...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2015 2:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat," where is the narrator as he writes this story?

The unnamed narrator in Edgar Allan Poe's “The Black Cat” is sitting in a prison cell, awaiting execution for the brutal ax murder of his wife. He killed her in a fit of rage, probably induced by a...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2020 10:51 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Black Cat

Look closely at the passages involving the narrator's original household, the fire, and the impoverished...

Early in the narrator's life, he was known for his "docility" and "humanity" as well as his "tenderness," especially toward animals. These traits followed him into adulthood, and he found a wife...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2019 2:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat," why did the narrator kill the cat ?

Reading the story carefully reveals the answer to your question. After the narrator had become possessed by "the fury of a demon" and cut out the black cat's eye, the narrator explains how the...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2011 10:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What is the message of "The Black Cat"?

In the famous short story "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator initially professes a love for animals. He and his wife have numerous pets, but the narrator is particularly fond of a...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2019 2:56 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

Describe the character of the narrator in "The Black Cat."

One word sums up the narrator in Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Black Cat": sociopath. A sociopath doesn't respect laws or social rules, disregards others' rights, displays emotional and violent...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2016 2:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What mark did the second cat have on his chest? 

After the narrator hangs his first black cat, Pluto, from a tree in the garden, knowing he is committing a truly vile sin, he discovers a similar cat in the bar where he often drinks. It is as...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2019 4:33 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat," how does the narrator feel about what he did to the cat?

The narrator is telling the story because of the terrible burden of guilt he feels over his crimes. One of these is of course the murder of his wife but he feels perhaps just as guilty about his...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2015 3:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What is the mood in "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe?

The mood of a story is the feeling which the author tries to evoke in their readers. Everyone is different, of course, and so not every reader of a story will feel the exact same way. But authorial...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2020 11:08 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Black Cat

What is the plot of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe? Please describe the exposition, the rising action  the...

Exposition- The narrator is presumably in jail and awaiting to be executed. He sets the tone and mood of the novel with his anxious talk, where he says that something terrible has happened, and...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2014 12:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What is the significance of the cat's name, Pluto, from "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe? I was thinking that since...

The name of the narrator's first cat, Pluto, is also the name of the Roman god associated with death; he is the equivalent of the Greek god, Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. Pluto is, then,...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2018 3:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

How does Edgar Allan Poe reveal character in "The Black Cat?"

Poe reveals character mostly via direct characterization of the narrator. The narrator describes himself as possessing "tenderness of heart" and a "fond[ness] for animals." He claims that he was...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2017 3:09 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat" what earlier mention of violence foreshadows what the narrator does to his wife?

I am assuming that you are referring Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Black Cat." The narrator explains that before his drinking problem, he had been a very nice man, amiable, with a fond love...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2009 12:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What is the climax of the story?

When the story's narrator ultimately loses control and murders his wife, it is the climax of the story. The climax is brief and powerful: Goaded by the interference into a rage more than...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2018 12:21 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

What is the significance of this quote from "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe? "There is something in the unselfish...

This statement made by the narrator in “The Black Cat” at the beginning of the story is important because it foreshadows events that later happen in the story. Pluto, the black cat, loves the...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2018 2:13 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

Which events happen first in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat"?

Technically speaking, in Poe's story "The Black Cat" the first thing that 'happens' is that the narrator informs us he is going to die tomorrow and wishes to unburden his soul tonight by exposing...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2016 5:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What relationship did the narrator have with pets when he was a child?

The narrator (obviously an unreliable narrator, in the typical vein of Poe's criminally mad narrators) claims to have lived a childhood whose greatest comforts involved animals. When we learn of...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2018 3:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

What does the second cat symbolize?

I think it is possible to read the second cat as symbolic of the narrator's guilt. After he maims and murders Pluto, the first black cat, he says that "there came back into my spirit a...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2017 6:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Why did one wall remain after the fire?

If we are looking for "rational" explanations for the occurrences in "The Black Cat" or any story by Poe, we are missing the point somewhat. That a single wall would remain standing in a house...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2018 8:04 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

What is the point of view of "The Black Cat"?

The point of view of this story is first-person objective. The first-person part means that the narrator is a participant in the events that have taken place in the plot and that he uses the first...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2018 12:01 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

Are there any examples of personification for "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe?

The naming of the black cat ¨Pluto¨aggrandizes the cat to the level of the Greek god of the underworld (i.e. Hell) and, thus, personifies him. Further, the narrator declares that his relationship...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2014 6:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

What are gothic elements in "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe? Cite them.

The enotes to Gothic literature make mention of the element of "privileged irrationality and passion over rationality and reason." This chaos of irrationality seems to be what moves the plot of...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2009 1:17 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

Why is it important that the narrator cuts out Pluto's eye?

Removing the cat’s eye is the beginning of the end, so to speak, for the narrator. Until that moment, the cat had thus far escaped his drunken cruelty, so this act signifies that the narrator had...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2016 11:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Revise and edit an essay written about Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat." Look for weaknesses in writing and errors...

Based on this prompt, it looks like you have been asked to find "an" essay online which a student has written about Poe's "The Black Cat" and then do some work in editing and revision, thus...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2019 4:50 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

What suspenseful moments does Edgar Allan Poe create in his short story "The Black Cat"?

The suspense in the narrative of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" begins with the narrator's declaration that he will die on the following day. In the exposition of this story, the narrator...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2017 5:41 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat," why does the narrator mention the wall to the police?    

The narrator in "The Black Cat," by Poe, mentions the wall to the police because he can no longer hide his black deeds, and he must be punished for those deeds. The foreshadowing for this...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2018 2:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

What might the narrator's "perverseness" be in Poe's short story "The Black Cat"?

As a master writer of poetry, short stories, detective mysteries, and psychological horror, Edgar Allan Poe was a bit obsessed with perverseness. Truly, as an alcoholic and opium addict who married...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2016 7:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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