Questions and Answers for The Black Cat

The Black Cat

In Poe's short story "The Black Cat," the first person narrator, while admitting he killed his wife by taking an axe to her head, nevertheless seems to deny that he is actually guilty of murder. As...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2016 12:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

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

As “The Black Cat” opens, the narrator establishes that he is going to die tomorrow, then gives some backstory/exposition: that he was an animal lover as a child; that he and his wife have a number...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2018 2:35 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

A "Gothic Romance" is a story that adheres to certain conventions and techniques that represent its genre. In this sense, a "romance" is not necessarily a love story but refers to stories of...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2016 7:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

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

The fire functions on at least two levels of symbolism in the story. First, it's arguably a punishment directed against the narrator by God, fate, or any supernatural avenging force, for his abuse...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2019 5:07 am UTC

4 educator answers

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

The obvious physical similarity is that in both tales, the idea of walling up the victim occurs to the killer and is carried out. Montresor decides to entomb Fortunato in a niche in the catacombs,...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2019 11:21 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

What a beautiful and terrible line that is! To move more directly to your question, in this quotation Poe is addressing the way that humans rebel against thing. You might think of Adam and Eve in...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2015 4:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

As an unreliable narrator, the narrator of "The Black Cat" sets up his entire story to try to excuse his actions, despite the ruse of trying to "unburden his soul" before his execution. The sin of...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2016 11:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Horror is a genre of literature (specifically of fictional literature) that has as its objective the development within the reader of a sense of unease. Horror stories are designed to frighten and...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2019 2:41 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

In "The Black Cat," there is really only one woman: the narrator's wife. Unfortunately, we do not see much of her as an individual character, but she does serve an important purpose. The first time...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2016 12:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

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

The main character of the story is the unnamed narrator. He says that he was known for being kind and that he truly loved animals. However, his alcoholism made him cruel and abusive toward his wife...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2019 1:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Written by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Black Cat" is a story of horror, in the Poe tradition of other other horror stories like "The Tell-tale Heart" and "The Cask of Amontillado." There are supernatural...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2011 3:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

To my mind, the most powerful symbol that there is in this chilling short story by Edgar Allen Poe is the black cat itself, which is obviously important enough to warrant being used for the title....

Latest answer posted November 2, 2010 8:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

You might want to consider this question by thinking of how the black cat itself is described throughout this excellent tale. Remember, of course, that the story is told from the first person point...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2011 7:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

The answer to this question can be found in a very close reading of the text, and also in using inference, or an educated guess, to figure out where he is. At the beginning of the story, he starts...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2010 7:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

You are right in identifying that the vast majority of the story is told in a flashback form. The narrator looks back from his present location and situation and tells the story of how he came to...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2013 6:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

In the famous horror story "The Black Cat," by Edgar Allen Poe, the unnamed narrator is in prison awaiting execution. He first describes killing a the titular cat—of which he was extremely fond....

Latest answer posted May 22, 2019 2:38 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

The title of the story "The Black Cat," though simple, is rich in meaning when considered in light of the story's literal and figurative interpretations. On a literal plane, the story features not...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2016 4:32 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

The narrator of "The Black Cat" is what's called an unreliable narrator. This means that we can't be sure that what he's saying is true; we simply can't take him at face value. Instead, we need to...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2018 7:32 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

"The Black Cat" is a story which reveals the gradual heightening of guilt that stems from one's actions and its effect on the human psyche. At the beginning of the book, the narrator relates the...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2016 7:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Poe uses dramatic irony—when the audience knows or understands something that some character(s) does not—in order to heighten tension as well as to help convey the theme that, often, people simply...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2019 12:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

The main character would be our unnamed narrator. He is a crazy man who thinks he is sane. He starts out telling the reader that is was once a gentle and docile man who loved animals, and it is...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2008 12:32 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

In this quotation, where the narrator describes the horrifying sound of the cat's howling from within the tomb, Poe employs a literary device called imagery. Imagery is a verbal description of...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2018 12:49 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

This is a somewhat tricky question, because like many of Edgar Allen Poe's stories, The Black Cat is deeply ambiguous in its writing (and intentionally so). This is a work of first person...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2019 6:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

The narrator explains his change in attitude toward Pluto as resulting from the "Fiend Intemperance." Intemperance is the nineteenth-century euphemism for alcoholism. We are given to believe that...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2019 3:39 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

The very first line of Poe's "The Black Cat" sets the stage for an ironic tale: For the most wild yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Of...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2010 2:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

As in many of Poe’s stories, "The Black Cat" employs a narrator who spends the entire story trying to convince the reader (and most importantly himself) about his mental stability. Obviously,...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2012 4:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat," the narrator is highly descriptive in his accounts of the apparition of the black cat, using Gothic imagery, as well as supernatural, unnatural, and morbid...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2010 8:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

We are given no clear answer to this excellent question. Rather, the text seems to tantalise us by pointing towards a supernatural explanation of the relationship between Pluto and the narrator,...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2011 11:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

First of all, the narrator is clearly insane. His story is offered as a kind of justification for his deeds. He is self-aware—he brags about his softness of heart and his love of animals—and...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2018 3:28 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Black Cat

The narrator's first cat, named Pluto, is described as "a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black and sagacious to an astonishing degree." The narrator's wife is so impressed with the...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2019 10:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Your definition of tone is accurate. I think that the difficulty with Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" is that his tone is ironic. The definition of irony is the difference between what we expect...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2011 10:57 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Black Cat

The fact that the narrator tells us that he is not crazy might send up a red flag because sane people typically do not feel the need to tell others that they are sane. However, this narrator is not...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2018 3:37 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

As the narrator describes, from his very youngest years he was extremely tender and thoughtful towards other people. He noted that he was such a kind-hearted and gentle soul that his boyhood...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2015 1:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Theme is the main idea that runs throughout a story, and usually there are more than one or two. To create a list for yourself, complete the following: __________________(name of story) is a tale...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2007 12:22 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

Of his wife, the narrator says, One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. Thus, we do not know exactly...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2019 6:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

Keeping in mind that the narrator is highly unreliable in this story, we can nevertheless note that he describes himself changing for the worse as his alcoholism worsens. As an infant, the narrator...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2016 6:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Although most people think of a protagonist as the "good guy" or the hero of the story, a protagonist is simply the main character. I have provided a couple of links explaining what a protagonist...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2016 9:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat," the narrator attributes his violent behavior to alcoholism. He states that the first black cat, Pluto, was an especially beloved pet, but over the course of a...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2016 12:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

In the exposition of "The Black Cat," the unreliable narrator lays down some things he feels readers should know about the story and himself as a person. He says that he has been known since...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2016 10:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

The narrator’s wife in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” half-jokingly mentions the idea that the titular cat is associated with witchcraft and black magic shortly after the couple gets Pluto as a...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2018 11:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

This is interesting as the word 'sagacious' has or had two meanings as one of them is obsolete. The first meaning relates to the same word stem as the word 'sage' or wise man, which in the short...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2010 1:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

Knowing that the narrator is speaking directly to you as the reader and giving only his perception of what happened leads to questions of whether or not he is a reliable narrator and lends an air...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2018 10:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

It is when the policemen come around the house to search for any trace of the narrator's wife that the narrator's arrogance and total and utter belief in his own ability to conceal the crime...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2013 6:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

The narrator of "The Black Cat" introduces the tale by saying the events of his story have terrified him and represent "little but Horror," but he thinks the story may seem quite ordinary to other...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2017 3:33 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Black Cat

Pluto is the first cat that the narrator of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe owns and claims to have loved. That narrator is obviously not a sane man, but we do get some information from him both...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2013 11:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Black Cat

The first paragraph foreshadows the ending of the narrator's tale. To fully understand where he is and what he is doing, readers must read to the end of the story. The second-to-last sentence...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2016 6:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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