The eight elements of fiction are present in every fictional genre. They are required in order for a story to be told completely. They are necessary so that the author can relate the reader completely to the story, to make the reader fully understand and relate to the work. The following paragraphs will discuss how Edgar Allan Poe successfully uses all eight elements of fiction in his short story "The Black Cat," while telling an exciting and thrilling story.
The first element of fiction is Plot. Plot is defined as the plan or groundwork for a story, with the actions resulting from believable and authentic human responses to a conflict. It is causation, conflict, response, opposition, and interaction that make a plot out of a series of actions. Poe has a very traditional way of setting up the order of plot in "The Black Cat." He starts with the exposition, or introduction. In the exposition he introduces the reader to the main character; we never learn his name, the main characters wife and their cat, Pluto. We learn immediately that the main character has committed a great crime and sin, although we don't know what that is right away. We also learn that the Main character had a strong affection towards animals, and favored his cat, Pluto above all the rest: "I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my growth." (Poe, pg 545, 2) This part of his character will later play a major role in the story.
Following the exposition Poe raises the action by presenting the conflict. Conflict is defined as the opposition between two characters, or between the protagonists and the larger forces. Conflict may also be internal or psychological. In "The Black Cat," the conflict begins when the main character starts to become violent towards his cat.