What is the main tone of Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Black Cat?" This is for a literary analysis of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe; my theme is poetic justice. We are supposed to use one author's...

What is the main tone of Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Black Cat?"

This is for a literary analysis of "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe; my theme is poetic justice. We are supposed to use one author's tone but it seems to me the tone changes throughout the story. Can someone please explain the tone of this story to me?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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 to happen and what really happens. The narrator starts by eliciting our sympathy, along with establishing himself as a reliable narrator.

The narrator tries to convince the reader that the occurrence of every day incidents lead to his fate, even when he stabs the cat (Pluto) in the eye. By the time he kills the cat, the reader is beginning to seriously suspect that what the narrator is saying is not entirely accurate.

The narrator soon becomes an unreliable voice; we discover he is in jail waiting to be executed, but it is not until later that we realize he has committed murder—something we may not be totally prepared for. This is another "swoop" the plot takes as the narrator weaves his tale, even as he reports the image of the cat hanging from a noose burned onto his house's wall (which the author...

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