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The Black Cat

             Edgar Allen Poe themes for these three stories all have similarities. There are bizarre situations and themes of madness, revenge, horror and murder. They all end abruptly, leaving the reader with his hair standing up on the back of his neck. These are short gothic horror stories. The one theme, they all have in common, I believe is how easy it is for man to down slide into insanity.
             In "The Black Cat" we see the story of a man who reaches his end through insanity, with the help of alcohol. At the beginning of the story he is pictured as a lover of animals, with many pets. His favorite was a black cat named Pluto. As he drank more and more, the effect of the alcohol caused him to begin to despise his pets. In a fit, thinking that the cat was, mocking him, the man gouged out the eye of the cat. For a while, he was remorseful of his action, but since the cat now fled him in terror, the feelings of sorrow turned to irritation. He then hung the cat. On the night that this was done, there was a fire that burned down his house. Soon the man wants another cat, and find an identical one, except for a white patch on its chest. He takes the cat home to his wife. As time passes, he believes the white patch changes its shape to look like a gallow, and he then begins to hate the second cat. One day down in the cellar the man gets angry at the cat and the man tries to kill the cat with an axe, however, his wife blocks him from hitting the cat. In his anger, the man kills his wife with the ax. He puts his wife's body behind a wall in the cellar. He looks for the cat but it has disappeared. The police come to investigate the disappearance of the wife but find no evidence that anything happened. The police come back a second time and go down into the cellar and this time they hear a loud shriek coming from behind the wall. The police tear down the wall where the noise came from and find the wife's body, with the cat sitting on top of her head.

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