The Tell Tale Heart And The Black Cat Essay

1394 Words Jul 11th, 2015 6 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” are frightening stories told by nameless narrators. Both narrators, who are clearly disturbed, commit murder in the stories. Through the narrators’ accounts of the events leading up to their respective crimes, Poe’s tales explore themes of abnormal psychology and give the reader insight into the minds and thought processes of two fictional perpetrators of homicide. The two narrators are very similar in their character and in their actions, and both of their stories reflect Romantic ideology. By acting irrationally, blaming their actions on things other than themselves, and assuring the reader that they are sane despite copious evidence to the contrary, both the narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” and the narrator of “The Black Cat” reflect the primary Romantic theme of emphasizing emotion over reason and rationality (Mueller). First, both the narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” and the narrator of “The Black Cat” are haunted by illusions of the mind. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” after the narrator murders the old man with whom he lives and hides the old man’s dismembered body underneath the floorboards of the bedroom, he imagines the dead man’s heart beating (Poe 694). In “The Black Cat,” after hanging and killing his first cat Pluto, the narrator imagines that his second cat’s white spot turns into the shape of a gallows (Poe 699). It is arguable that these auditory and visual hallucinations are the product of the…

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