What element allows the reader to question the accuracy of the narrator's account of events in "The Black Cat"?

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jjohnson112 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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In "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, Poe gives us another one of his short stories about murder.  The story is told from the first person perspective.  In the first paragraph of the story the reader gets the idea the narrator may not be reliable.  The narrator readily admits he is going to be killed the next day, and adamantly defends the fact he is not crazy.  However, in his insistence of sanity, the reader suspects right away, he may not be sane after all.

Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not -- and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul. 

For more resources on Poe's, "The Black Cat," including a summary, themes, essay and analysis, see: http://www.enotes.com/topics/black-cat

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