Study Notes on "Black Cat" by Edgar Allen Poe
This is a story about someone whose life is troubled by fiend intemperance. He is annoyed by the cat, and he tortures it. He cuts out the cats eye, and is then annoyed by that, and ends up hanging the cat. The house burns down and left behind is a silhouette of the hanging cat. He gets another cat, and his wife tells him not to, and ends up getting an axe in her brain. He hides her in the cellar, but the police come and find her. There is an emphasis on the black cat.
Poe is a southern writer and is not aware that he addresses the issue of slavery. It is part of the repressed or unconscious. It is an incarnate nightmare as he has no power to shake it off. The man in the story starts of as a St.
Francis figure, someone who loves animals. He then marries a woman with the same qualities. The story is more about the wife than the cat....the cat acts as an analogy for the wife. The scenario suggests that the narrator has anti-pathy towards love. It is the fear of being known, as he is afraid he will be found out to be worthless by those that would know him intimately...ie..his wife.
Contrary forces of love and anti-intimacy. There is a conflict between who dominates who, and who has the power. Pleasure and shame are interlinked like hand and glove. There is the thrill of doing something naughty, and pleasure is obtained out of being punished. Sadism provides a relief for cruelty that would otherwise be directed at the self. Sado-masochistic pleasure is derived out of reading the Gothic.
In here the man projects his...