In Poe’s ”The Black Cat”, the cat acts as an instrument of justice. The story illustrates that the narrator tortures his pets. Moreover, he kills his wife and the black cat brutally. He tries his best to hide the dead body of his wife. But when the second cat screams and reveals the body to the police officers , it brought about justice to narrator’s wife and all those animals whom narrator had tortured. Thus the cat indirectly punishes the narrator by revealing the dead body of his wife to the corps.
To begin with, the narrator is portrayed as an evil-doer in the story and he deserves punishment for his crimes. For example, the he begins to suffer violent mood swings under the influence of alcohol.He takes to mistreating not only other animals but also his wife. During this uncontrollable rage he spares only Pluto(the black cat). One night when Pluto bites his hand, he cuts out one of the cat’s eyes. This shows his vengeful behaviour. He keeps on committing wrong just for the sake of wrong.
Then, one night he hangs the cat from a tree , where it dies.Furthermore,one day when narrator and his wife are visiting the cellar , the second cat gets under his feet and nearly trips him down the stairs . In a fury, the man grabs an axe and tries to kill the cat but is stopped by his wife. Enraged, he kills her with the axe instead. These actions of narrator throw light upon his merciless and cruel nature. Moreover , he tries to escape from punishment and hides the dead body. Thus, the action of the cat in the end of the story is completely justified.
In conclusion, the second cat ultimately serves as the facilitator of justice when it reveals the corpse’s hiding place at the end of tale. Its initial appearance on the top of a hogstead of rum emphasizes its moral purpose.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 December 2016
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