What is the climax of "The Black Cat"?

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The climax of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" occurs when the narrator's wife stops him from killing their cat and he kills her instead by striking her in the head with an axe. This is the moment when the tension of the plot is at its highest point.

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The climax of a written work occurs when the tension and action of the plot reach their highest point. This marks a turning point in the story, after which the repercussions of the climax are developed and brought to a conclusion.

The climax of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" occurs when the narrator murders his wife with an axe.

The tensions that lead directly to the climax begin when a large, black cat follows the narrator home from a bar one night. The cat bears a striking physical resemblance to Pluto with two exceptions—the cat has one eye and a patch of white fur.

The narrator is kind to the cat at first, but over time, his guilt over having abused and killed Pluto causes him to resent the new cat. The cat's missing eye is a reminder to the narrator of how he blinded Pluto in an intoxicated rage. The cat's white fur patch gradually takes on the ominous appearance of the gallows, further unnerving the narrator.

The story reaches its climax when the narrator and his wife are descending the stairs to their cellar. The cat walks under the narrator's feet, tripping him and sending him into a rage. The narrator tries to kill the cat with an axe, but his wife stops him. His wife's interference further enrages him and he strikes her in the head with the axe, killing her instantly.

This is the highest point of action in the story and the point at which the plot's tension is at its peak. The consequences of the climax include a police investigation, the revelation of the wife's hidden corpse, and the narrator's presumable arrest and sentencing, which in fact sets the stage for the narrator's telling of the story in the first place. As he remarks in the first paragraph, "tomorrow I die, and today I would unburthen my soul."

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What is the rising action in the story "The Black Cat"?

As “The Black Cat” opens, the narrator establishes that he is going to die tomorrow, then gives some backstory/exposition: that he was an animal lover as a child; that he and his wife have a number of animals as pets, including a cat; and that the narrator has a particularly strong bond with the cat.

The rising action begins when he explains how he began drinking too much and his character began to change. It continues through the story of how he cuts the cat’s eye out, then grows even angrier with the cat, and eventually kills it. This is the first climactic event in the story. But the action then rises further to another climactic event: after a fire consumes their house, another cat appears. The narrator at first loves the cat, then becomes enraged and tries to kill it, and finally kills his wife when she tries to stay his hand. This is truly the moment of no return for the narrator, as he has killed not only a cat but also a human being.

The rest of the story consists of the falling action, in which the narrator describes his attempts to cover up the murder, and the denouement, which describes how he is caught.

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What is the rising action in the story "The Black Cat"?

Everything up to the point where the narrator taps on the wall and the second cat screams--making the reader think it is the spirit of his entombed wife--is the rising action.  The tapping on the wall and the immediate circumstances that follow are the climax (point of greatest tension or excitement) of the story.

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What is the rising action in the story "The Black Cat"?

In "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe, the rising action begins when the narrator starts drinking and abusing the cat.  The situation escalates because he feels remorse but once again drink causes him to abuse the cat and then he hangs it outside.  The narrator and his wife get a second cat and here the ultimate downfall of the narrator starts.  The narrator begins abusing his wife and is afraid of the new cat.  

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What is the climax of "The Black Cat"?

When the story's narrator ultimately loses control and murders his wife, it is the climax of the story. The climax is brief and powerful:

Goaded by the interference into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain.

The impulsive murder is the culmination of the escalating conflicts up to this point in the story. In the story's rising action, the narrator becomes increasingly unstable and mistreats his wife and their many pets. He cites alcoholism as the reason for his cruel and bizarre behavior.

After the murder, the hiding of the body makes up the the story's falling action. The narrator entertains and rejects a number of ways of covering up the killing before he decides to hide her body in the wall. The story's macabre conclusion is the revelation of the body and the mutilated cat.

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What is the climax of "The Black Cat"?

Though there are a number of climactic events, his first abuse of Pluto in cutting out his eye, his eventual hanging of the cat, the conflagration that destroyed his home but left the impression of the cat, and his murder of his wife and walling her up in the basement, the true climax comes when the cat howls from within the projection where he walled up his wife and the cat as the police are inspecting the house.  This final moment of doom, where his guilt is fully exposed and he swoons in terror and admission, is the true climax of the story.  Like many Poe stories, the horror and gore are present throughout, but it is in this incredible moment of exposition that everything comes crashing down for good.

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