The Black Cat short story is a narration of a man’s story that revolves around his pets and how he treats them. This man was since being a boy a calm person with a great liking for animals. In any case, he was made fun of for his disposition in his early age. The man owned several animals that his wife also endeared. However, his attitude and deep affection for these animals changed so much when he began to indulge in alcohol. The man whose favorite animal was a large black cat named Pluto especially inflicted harm on this animal by physical abuse. This essay seeks to explain how a good man’s attitude and life changed from warmth and passion to cold heartedness. It will look into the effect of alcohol on this man’s life.
The man who loved his animals and wife seemed to lead a very happy life. The author describes him as often caressing his pets and enjoying their company so much so that Pluto would follow him almost everywhere. The man also owned a monkey among his pets. It is also stated that he lived with his cat for several years. This implies that the cat had learned to be loyal to him and to trust him. The change in the man’s attitude caused by alcohol however, led to a fear in the animals as he would constantly abuse them physically. The author goes ahead to say that there is no worse disease than alcohol and he admits to the fact that he got irritated when he drunk. He was not cruel to his cat whenever he was sober but took to hurting Pluto when he was drunk. In any case, he shamefully blushes in text when narrating his story as he realizes now that he was under alcohol influence when he committed the atrocity upon Pluto. On the day the man put out Pluto’s eye with his knife, he had been drunk and was filled with an evil he could not resist. It is evident that the man was remorseful afterwards when his alcohol subsided within him. Nonetheless, the man’s sense of remorse declined over time as he took more and more alcohol. At one point he admits to only feeling half the remorse he should have felt in the situation. On the day he hanged his black cat, the man admitted to having committed an evil for no apparent reason but which only intrigued his sense of awareness. He compares the need to break the law with his desire to harm his cat. Yet, this desire grew in him as he consumed more alcohol.
It is addiction to alcohol that also led the man to commit a grim act of splitting her head when he could not hurt his new cat. His addiction had taken over him like a disease and led him to lose all sense of humanity. It ate at his conscience over time so much so that he slept soundly on the night of his wife’s murder. The alcohol also drove this man to attacking the police and leading them to where he had buried his wife’s body. It would be right to conclude that alcohol had eaten away this man’s sense of reason to the extent that he did not care about himself and so he hurt the things he had previously treasured. The fact that he did not do so when sober only implies that alcohol addiction had taken the better of him and become his tormentor.
Jamison, Kay R. Touched With Fire: Manic Depressive Illness. Chicago: Free Press , 1994. Print.
June Prince Tangney, Ronda L Dearing. Shame and Guilt. New York: Guilford Press, 2003. Print.
Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Black Cat." Saturday Evening Post (1843): 2. Print.