What is the significance of the cat's name, Pluto, from "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe?I was thinking that since Pluto is a small planet and the narrator, he took out Pluto's eye which is small...

What is the significance of the cat's name, Pluto, from "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe?

I was thinking that since Pluto is a small planet and the narrator, he took out Pluto's eye which is small that that's what might be significant about it.. Or since Pluto revovles around the Sun which Pluto does in the story follows the narrator around..  I don't know. This story is totally out of my lead :L

 

Asked on by bendypen

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Your idea is plausible, but I think Poe was thinking of a different Pluto when he imagined this story of a man terrified of a cat. Pluto is the name of the Roman god of the underworld and the judge of the dead, whom the Greeks called Hades. The color black is also associated with Pluto; black sheep were given to him in sacrificial offerings.

In both Roman and Greek religious beliefs, unless a person received a proper burial, his or her shade was doomed to wander the earth, haunting the one who had done them harm or had not given them the right kind of funeral. Although what haunts the narrator is a cat, I think we can apply those beliefs to the cat's haunting the man as well. Is the cat really a spirit that is haunting him? Or is it his guilty conscience? That's the subject of another question!

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