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Throughout Edgar Allan Poe’s life he suffered through the deaths of many of his loved ones. It is very clear to see that it affected his short stories and poems greatly. Early on in his life, Poe’s mother died of tuberculosis. Shortly thereafter his foster mother as well as his brother also died of tuberculosis. At this point Poe had lost most of the people he loved, and he fell into a dark time in his life. He started being recognized for his dark writings, and he began to make a name for himself. He again found love with his younger cousin, which he soon married. They lived a happy and joyous life, but once again, death caught up to Poe, and his wife died too of tuberculosis. His wife had been sick for five years, and that was a time where Poe’s writings started to become darker. In that time, he wrote “The Black Cat”, a story about a man killing his cat, and soon after his wife because of his crazy emotions. The story represented his feelings at the time, and almost symbolized his life from the beginning to the death of his wife.
“The Black Cat” began as a first person narrative, the man described himself as a happily married man who only found companionship in animals, particularly a large black cat that he owned named Pluto. One unfortunate day, he came home intoxicated and mutilated Pluto by gouging one of his eyes out. At this point of the story, the narrator had an almost recovery period where he became extremely resentful of his actions. Due to his resentment, he decided to hang Pluto because he knew that Pluto loved him dearly, but he was unable to return that devotion. Later on in his life, he found a cat that strongly resembled Pluto, down to the fact that it had a splotch of white fur on its chest that resembled the Gallows which scared him greatly. He then tried again to kill the cat with an ax, which his wife attempted to stop, he then decided to kill his wife by embedding the ax in her skull. He hid the corpse in the wall, and when he was done, he was unable to find the cat. Later, when the police were looking for the body and unable to find anything, the narrator become cocky and essentially taunted the police as they were leaving the house. He talked about how well constructed his house was and rapped his cane on the section of the wall where he had hid his wife. This made the cat that was hiding on his wife’s corpse meow, which immediately made the police suspicious once again. The police tore down the wall and found his wife’s corpse. The story ended with the hanging of the narrator. Throughout the story, it is very clear that it resembles his life. During his life, he had times of happiness, but also times of sadness, something that happens in the story as well. The theme of death, especially its repetitiveness, was evident in his story “The Black Cat” as well as his life.
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