Devin CarsonMrs. FeekenEnglish 11 4Y21 December 2017American Romanticism Essay In the peculiar and creepy story, The Black Cat, by Edgar Allan Poe, the main character goes through a story of gut wrenching guilt that consumes him. The story itself is a parallel of the idea of how guilt can change, and alter an individual for the worst. Towards the central parts of the story, after the main character mutilates the first cat, we start to see his guilt surface. “… and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed” (Poe 1). We then see remorse in the narrator’s deed, in the form of violence. “…One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb the limb of a tree…” (2). As the story progresses after the narrator’s act of cruelty, we see him go through denial. He uses alcohol as form of coping, and even goes as far as saying that he feels no different after the incident. He could be saying this as a form a denial of what he has done. Later on, in a fit of remorse, he later then kills the cat, thinking he was putting it out of its misery. As the story later continues, a new cat surfaces, identical to the last in every way, except a patch of white fur on it’s breast. This appearance of this new cat, gives the narrator thoughts about the past one, and fuels his guilt even further. “I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it” (Poe 3). Soon the guilt pushes the narrator over the edge, and he commits an even greater act of malice. “I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan” (4). Still guilt ridden over killing the first cat, the narrator begins to be intimidated by the new one, refusing to inflict violence upon it. When finally provoked to strike the animal, the narrator’s wife stops him. In a fit blind rage and possible anxiety, kills his wife. We now see the guilt change the narrator from an animal abuser, who commited his act under the influence of alcohol, to a full blown murderer.