Edgar Allan Poe is a great American poet and novelist, who had a huge interest in the reasons and motives of human actions, the secret depths of the soul, about which many people do not even suspect. In many stories he explores what is called the spirit of contradiction, a kind of split personality. Poe was concerned by the question: why do people often act in spite of their obvious desires and benefit, how is it that the criminal wants to be exposes or a decent and kind person commits an offense.
In the story The Black Cat, we can see a direct cause of the character’s degeneration from a gentle and sensitive human being who loves animals into a villain. This cause is alcohol. The writer knew well what a devastating effect alcohol had on the individual. The character of the story is steadily deteriorating and his character is changing. Before, he loved animals, was devoted to his wife, a soft and sincere woman. But as he was drinking, the animals began to irritate him. He mocks the monkey and the dog, and only a black cat Pluto is still causing him semblance of respect and affection.
One day, he came home drunk and committed a violent act: he cut the cat’s eye. At first, he is tormented with conscience, he feels like the love to the animal returns to him. But at the same time the anger and hatred are increased, and one day he hangs the cat, suffering with tears, from feelings of ambivalence.
Time passes, and the character finds a cat, similar to Pluto, but with one difference – a white spot on the chest. He is getting attached to the cat, but the demon gets the upper hand again. The cat’s caress makes him feel disgust, and the cat itself is terrifying: a spot on the chest has a distinct form of the gallows. The character can’t stand the cat and decides to kill it, but instead he kills his wife, who was trying to protect the animal. He prudently hides the traces of the crime, but retribution overtakes him. Police heard the cat’s screaming, immured together with the corpse of the wife.
The story is permeated with a single idea: the crime already has retribution and the gentlest person can hide terrible cruelty. No one understands the people, and least of all a man understands oneself. To save the soul, it is necessary to clean its caches, as sometimes there can be real dirt in there.
Edgar Allan Poe is a great American poet and novelist, who had a huge interest in the reasons and motives of human actions, the secret depths of the soul, about which many people do not even suspect. In many stories he explores what is called the spirit of contradiction, a kind of split personality.