Narrator's Leap Into Insanity Essay

1062 words - 4 pages

The narrators leap into insanity

In a "Yellow Wallpaper", by Charlotte perkins Gilman and a "Black Cat", by Edgar Allen Poe, each

narrator demonstrates the steps taken to create a piece of abnormal madness. They try to clue into the readers

thoughts that they are not quite sane. The fact is, both pieces illustrate the narrators leap into the shocking

effects of insanity.

In the "Black Cat", the story approaches a morbid look into the narrators mind. This story, like many of

Poe's other pieces, is a venture into the abnormal psychology where the narrator is completely insane. At the

beginning of the story, the narrator makes writing out to be "plainly, clear and without comment a series of

mere household events" (Poe 1495) As the story proceeds the reader finds out that this is clearly not at all the

case. The events within the story is unmistakably the rambling of a madman who cannot seem to control his

actions and keeps drifting deeper and deeper into insanity. In the first paragraph of the story, the narrator

begins to defend himself by saying that he is not mad. This definitely seems like he is trying to reassure himself

more than the reader of his state of mind. It seems to be Poe's way of slowly easing into showing the reader that

this story is in fact, a leap into the abnormal psychology of the human mind.

In the "Yellow Wallpaper" this story where the narrator is confined in a lonesome, drab room in attempt to

free herself of a nervous disorder. The narrator's husband, a physician brings her to this belief and forces his

wife into a treatment of solitude. Rather than heal his psychological disorder, he drives her into a deep

depression and a step insanity.

The narrator in the "Black Cat", says that from his childhood, he has been considered a very "manageable

person" (Poe 10). He also mentions in the first part of the story that his "tenderness of the heart was even so

conspicuous as to make me jealous the jest of my companions"(Poe 10). At the point of the story when he says all

this, it seems possible. As the reader goes on to read the rest of the story, they find out that this is not the

narrator's present behavior in the least. Just from seeing what is obvious about the narrator and not just reading

deeper into his thoughts, the reader can gather that the man is probably not a reliable source for the correct

information. On the first page of the story, the narrator says that he "was especially fond of animals"(Poe 14). At

first he loves the cat and cares for it very affectionately. After a while, his attitude changes and he begins to take

out his anger on his pet, along with his wife. His behavior toward the cat is just the beginning of the reader's

escapade into his sate of insanity.

In Poe's story, the narrator tries to make it seem like he has remorse for doing this horrible thing to his

beloved pet. After he watches the cat roam around for a while, with only one eye the madness sets in. He can no
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