The Black Cat Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

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What makes "The Black Cat" a Gothic story? 

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"The Black Cat ," like other well-known stories by Poe, fits the category of gothic literature chiefly because there are elements of the supernatural in it. These do not become apparent until after the narrator kills Pluto by hanging the poor animal, and even then, we cannot be sure if the strange things that occur in the story are real or are simply a projection of the narrator's psychotic mental state. The fire that destroys his house leaves a single wall standing upon which there is the gigantic image of a cat with a noose around its neck. The narrator gives a convoluted explanation of how this image could have supposedly appeared there as a result of purely scientific phenomena. The appearance of the second cat, an almost exact double of Pluto, including the missing eye, is a bizarre coincidence, but the narrator relates this fact in a manner that again shows he's deceiving himself. It is only when the white spot on this new cat grows into the shape of a gallows that he realizes the...

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