The Black Cat
There are major differences between the film we saw in class and The Black Cat by
Edgar Allen Poe. The film had added effects to get the viewer's attention. The film also
let out important parts that were in the short story. The short story gave the reader a
better background for character analysis. Although the story was much more enticing
because the reader knew the main character better.
In the short story the man(abusive husband) is described as a loving and caring
husband, who is very fond of animals. He describes to the reader how his obsession with
alcohol is like a disease. He gets more irritable everyday because his cravings for alcohol
become greater and greater. He was often physically abusive to his wife. One night the
man came home very drunk and violent so Pluto(the black cat) scratched him out of fear.
then the man lost his temper and cut out the cat's eye with his penknife. One morning the
man hanged the cat from a tree limb with a noose around its neck. That night his house
burnt to the ground. In the morning he found a petrified white cat with a rope around its
neck in the charred remains. A few days later the man saw a black cat with a white chest
and he liked it so much he let the cat follow him home. The cat made itself at home but
the man avoided it because of a sense of shame for his former deed. The next day the man
noticed that the cat was missing an eye just as Pluto. His wife pointed out that the white
spot on its chest resembled the Gallows! The cat made the man trip in his basement one
day. So he picked up an ax to kill the cat, and his wife stepped in the way and he put the
ax through her brains. The man decided to hide the body and the cat behind a bricked up
wall in the basement. The police came and looked at everything. Just before they left,
they heard a noise from the basement wall. So they tore the bricks down. Thus they
discovered the body and the black cat.
The film hints that the man was once a loving and caring husband. The wife told
her husband he was not the same man she married. The film shows how the alcohol made
the man abuse his wife for more drinking money. There is no hint of affection for animals
shown. The man's wife is having an affair because she doesn't love her husband anymore.
When the man finds out what his wife is doing he poisons his wife and her boyfriend.
Then he bricks them up behind a wall in the basement along with the black cat he hated.
Based on this information the critic can see these two story plots are completely
different. They even describe the man differently. There is one similarity between the two
plots. "A guilty conscious never feels secure." The man experiences the truth of this
statement because he basically gives the murder away when the cat is heard. Although the
two story plots were different, Poe's unique style of writing can entice anyone.