I need literary criticism on edgar allan poes story "the black cat"

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i have limited time to find literary criticism on the black cat that relates to my thesis: "Poe uses the black cat as a symbol to repersent how people use both material and non material things for an escape for there problems. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, November 02, 2003


Well, the character does certainly. His descent into alcoholic hell refuses to deal with his problem and instead fixates on the cat and then accidentally his wife which he blames not on his fixation or rage or drunkenesss but on the cat. That fancy, that horror of truth like a hidden spectre within the poor cat becomes a fantasy experience that is more important than truth, his victim or his own fate. As a cognitive dissonance whose dark music becomes his satsifaction by the mystifying power of delusion, the character- despite his repentance- clearly clings to his experience and his fixation with a kind of idolatry upon whose altar the devotee lies as a sacrifice. So this is another example of The Imp of the Perverse" where self becomes its own worst enemy and executioner and in proud thrall to the power of the desire and experience. The escape is a false god of course, but the devotion and the proud faith(all the worse for beign its own god)is the tabtalizing draw. In this Poe is making a critique against the Romantic hero which fascinated him and many many others of his time. Coleridge interestingly has a good passage condemning this Byronic hero in more direct terms.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

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