Write an essay discussing the following points:
  1. Thoroughly show how the work of literature fits the definition of Romanticism.
  2. Show how the writer’s life affected his/her work.
  3. Show how the work compares in style, character, theme, etc. to other works by the author and to your other assigned work.

The Black Cat was a short storie of Edgar Allan Poe's that really stuck out the most when picking a story, and one that was a good one to do. I knew that it was a popular one that a lot of people enjoyed. When "The Black Cat" was published, the public reaction was immediately favorable, and the story became so great a success that it spawned a parody the following year" (Sova) This story is very interesting, and it really wsas kind of amazing to see just what Poe exactly thought about black cats. "Poe drew upon superstitions about cats as sacred and as having special powers, as well as upon medieval belief that black cats were Satan's favorite disguise when he roamed the earth" (Sova). The Black Cat was very interesting and a story that you wanted to follow along with.

The Black Cat by Poe really has a lot to do with romanticism as I started to break it down. When you are looking for romanticism in his works, you would be suprised how many things you see that show you the romanticism in his works. According to Blooms Literary Reference Online,"romanticism is defined as a literary, philosophical, and artistic style or theory that emphasizes nature as a guiding, elevated force, recognizes the central significance of individual experience, and—as a departure from the more stylized poetry and subject matter of the Augustan period—uses simple diction focused on rural and idyllic country life "(Imbarrato). Romanticism is a very emotional thing to, most of the things that go on in romanticism are very emotional and are very affective. In The Black Cat, the narrator is going through a hard time where there he is really struggling. The narrator becomes an alcoholic and he starts treating everyone different, except for his black cat. He was different to his wife and all of his animals. His black cat named Pluto was the only one that he was good to, but then he got worse and was not even good to his cat. I think that this has a lot to do with romanticism because he was going through a very dark and emotional time. I think that it also represents romanticism because it is talking about how the experiences that the narrator went through affected his whole life, and he felt like he had now central significance. The narrator was depressed about the actions he made, but he was not able to stop because he was such a bad alcoholic. Edgar was known as a dark romanticism author, and that is just exactly what this story was about. "Evil thoughts became my sole intimates-- the darkest and most evil of thoughts" (Poestories). Dark romanticism was based on death and dark things such as evil things. In this story, the narrator tried fighting off the evil thoughts, but he got to the point that he could not fight them anymore, and they started to consume him. He would even go as far as hurting people and animals that he loved the most, because of these deep, dark, and evil things were all around him.

I do not think that Poe came right out and said that The Black Cat was about him, but when studying more about his life, you really started to see that it was a lot about Poe's real life. Edgar was an alcoholic towards the end of his life and he started making decisions that affected him, and even went as far to his death. According to Poestories, Poe tried to go to school, but due to his alcoholic problem, he quit. "Although Edgar had done well in Latin and French, he started to drink heavily and quickly became in debt. He had to quit school less than a year later" (Poestories). Edgar would have been a good student if not for the stupid mistakes he made. He was a great writer, but imagine how great he would have been and how many more things he would have wrote, if he would not have gave into that first drink. In The Black Cat, he shares with us how things were in the end for him. He really struggled with treating his family and his animals right when he had this problem. He was kind of like this in real life in that he could not really keep a good wife, and his family was always mistreating him. He wrote stories about the way he was mistreated to let all of his feelings out. According to Poestories, he married his cousin, other ladies, and he died write before he was able to marry another woman. He did not ever kill a woman in his real life, like he did in The Black Cat, but he was very unhappy with his women and never found the right one.

The Black Cat was a story, like many otheres of Poe's that talked about rather disturbing things. Poe was known to have some weird messed- up stories. Poe was a writer that was know for his dark romanticism writings. The Black Cat was one of his dark romanticism writings so it definitely has a lot in common with other stories that he had written. Poe had written about deaths and in the Black Cat he wrote, " I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan. This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body" (Poestories). This was when the narrator killed his wife because of his terrible problem that consumed him. Poe had many other stories that talked about death, like the Pit and the Pendulum short story that we read in class by Edgar. In that story, the narrator talked all about the brutal things he had to go through in the jail, and it included death too. He also has other stories that talked about death in a way that was natural as you grew older, such as Eldarado. Poe seesotry med to bring up death and dark things a lot, and I think The Black Cat was a sick story that kept going on and on about nasty and the torturing things he did to his wife and animals.

Weird? Too many details? Sick? Nasty Alcoholic? Yes, all of these descriptive words described the way that Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Black Cat. I enjoyed reading this book, and it was a very interesting story. I do not know if I would ever read it again, though. It was a very messed up story that could really affect some people. He went from messing with his favorite cat's eye socket to killing his wife, and I just do not think that things like this are okay. The Black Cat did affect me, and it was kind of nice to read a different story like this. I twas surprised to see all of the different things that showed romanticism, and also all of the things that went on in this story that also went on in his life also. Poe was a great author, and he has wrote stories that people still enjoy, and they also have an impact on all of us.


Works Cited:

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat”. Poestories.com. Web. 7 Dec 2010. <http://poestories.com/credits.php>

Sova, Dawn B. "'The Black Cat'." Critical Companion to Edgar Allan Poe: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2007. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&SID=5&iPin= ffazpoe013601&SingleRecord=True (accessed December 9, 2010).

Imbarrato, Susan Clair, and Carol Berkin. "Romanticism." Encyclopedia of American Literature, Revised Edition: Settlement to the New Republic, 1608–1815, vol. 1, Revised Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&SID=5&iPin= EAmL0272&SingleRecord=True (accessed December 9, 2010).
Giordano, Robert. "A short biography of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)." Poestories.com Web.
    27 June 2005. 9 December 2010 <http://www.poestories.com/biography.php>