The Black Cat: Deranged NarratorThroughout the opening paragraph of “The Black Cat,” the reader isintroduced to a narrator who, because of his grotesque actions, has becomementally deranged and very untrustworthy, ” .
. . my very senses reject theirown evidence. ” The narration of this story is in the first person, which wouldlead you to believe the narrator could be trusted to relate to you the trueevents of the story, but this is false. The narrator in this story isunreliable due to his horrid state of mind and body.
The narrator cannot berelied upon to show the reader the true events of the story, these events haveto be interpreted and the reader must come to his own conclusion as to whatreally happened. The reader is shown in the opening paragraph that he should not trustthe narrator to deliver the true events of the story. The narrator admitsthroughout the story that his bad habits, namely alcoholism, lead to hisirrational state of mind. His alcoholism was the root of his downfall. Whileintoxicated, the narrator mutilated his favourite pet, Pluto, causing the cat tobecome terrified of his master.Order now
The alienation of his cat gave the narratoreven more cause to become mentally unstable. The hanging of his cat shows how the narrator has become obsessed withdoing evil things for the sake of their evilness. This evilness is linked tohis alcoholism. The narrator was most-likely in a drunken state when he hunghis cat, which only infuriated his temper. This separation of friends had ahuge effect on the narrator’s deadly temper. His temper is such that anythingthat slightly annoyed him caused him to go into fits of rage.
The fits of rage which occupy the narrator for much of the story are alllinked to his pet cats. He points out that he was an animal lover in hisyounger days and the feeling was carried through into his maturity. His lovefor animals ended here. His alcoholism had driven him to avoid his animals or,when he encountered them, to physically harm them for the reason that they werethere.
The narrator’s pet cat’s were the exceptions. He held his temper backfrom his cats because of his love for them. This feeling disappears after timeand the cats become the subject of his worst fits of rage. After each violent act upon his cats, the narrator did feel remorse athis actions.
This feeling also disappears over time and, as it disappeared, hisrage grew. The narrator seems to have had the feeling that they (the animals)must pay for what they have done. Tiny scratches upon the narrators handnecessitated Pluto losing an eye. He also seems to be upset that his cats lovehim and want to be around him. He felt he should be the one to love them andthey should not be allowed to love. This is shown through his annoyance attheir constant presence around him.
He must be the one in control, and be ableto make other things do what he wants. The fits of rage which he encountered are finally brought to aculmination when his wife stops his attempted murder of their new cat. Thenarrator is so mad at his wife that he takes the worst possible action. Hekills her. The murder of his wife seems to be the real end for the narrator.
Hefeels little guilt for his actions, “The guilt of my dark deed disturbed melittle. ” The reason for his lack of guilt is that he does not believe he hasdone anything wrong. His conscience has become so deteriorated that nothingseems to affect him anymore. When an outsider looks at the events of the story, it is obvious thatthe narrator is untrustworthy.
The alcoholism, which affects the narrator formuch of his adult life can be seen as the root of his problems. The alcoholismleads to other problems in his life, such as his horrible fits of rage, and hisutter disliking of his once prized pets. In his mentally deranged state, thenarrator cannot be trusted to deliver the true events of the story. Thereforethe reader must take it upon himself to interpret the events of the story andcome up with his own conclusion as to what really happened, and why theyhappened. English