I want to know more about the characteristics in "The Black Cat". Who is the main character and what are the characteristics for all the characters in this story? Is it round, dynamic,...

I want to know more about the characteristics in "The Black Cat".

Who is the main character and what are the characteristics for all the characters in this story? Is it round, dynamic, flat or static?

Asked on by ruazmatun

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katemschultz's profile pic

katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

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 the cat that changes him into the monster. He honestly doesn't want to hurt the animal(s), but something from "beyond" entices him to do so, even leading to the death of his wife. If you believe he is a reliable narrator, then he would be a round character (many different traits) that changes over time (dynamic). If you think he is an unreliable narrator, I would still say he is a round character, but a static character (doesn't change over time).

The wife is the other main character. She is kind and understand and an unfortunate victim of her husband's wrath. She's a rather minor character, flat (one characteristic) and static (doesn't change, unless you count death as a change, but it isn't really a personality change).

The police officers are minor, static, flat characters.

You could make an argument that the cats (Pluto and the second black cat) are characters, but it's hard to classify them because, unless you really get to know a cat, it's hard to determine the personality. If you believe the narrator that the cat was spiting him on purpose, the cats could be considered round characters.

luannw's profile pic

luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

There are only two human characters in this story of any importance and two cats.  The narrator is the main character and he undergoes a lot of change in his character over the span of his life.  When he was young, he loved animals and was especially close as a young adult to his favorite cat, Pluto, who was his constant companion.  The narrator becomes an alcoholic though, over the years, and this changes his personality.  He now hates his cat and becomes abusive, eventually killing the cat.  As the narrator is telling the reader the story, he is calm, but the calmness is probably mostly due to his madness.  The man's wife is the other human character and she undergoes no change in personality.  She is killed by her husband, but she otherwise stays the same is considered a static character.  Pluto, the first cat character, loves his master, then comes to fear him and avoid him, so he changes.  The second cat character, almost identical to Pluto, also has a fondness for the narrator.  The story shows the changes that occurred in the narrator and in his relationships over the years making it a dynamic story.

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