The Insane Effects Of Alcohol Abuse In Edgar Allan Poe´S The Black Cat

1733 words - 7 pages

In "The Black Cat," the author, Edgar Allan Poe, uses a first person narrator who is portrayed as a maniac. Instead of having a loving life with his wife and pets, the narrator has a cynical attitude towards them due to his mental instability as well as the consumption of alcohol. The narrator is an alcoholic who takes out his own insecurities on his family. It can be very unfortunate and in some cases even disastrous to be mentally unstable. Things may take a turn for the worst when alcohol is involved, not only in the narrator's case, but in many other cases as well. Alcohol has numerous affects on people, some people may have positive affects while others, like the narrator in "The Black Cat," may have negative affects like causing physical and mental abuse to those he loved. The combination of the narrator's mental instability along with the consumption of alcohol caused the narrator to lose control of his mind as well as his actions leading him to the brink of insanity. Though the narrator is describing his story in hopes that the reader feels sympathy towards him, he tries to draw the attention to his abuse of alcohol to demonstrate the negative affects that it can take on your life as well as destroy it in the end.
There are many times where the narrator describes his actions towards his loved ones while under the influence of alcohol. Since the narrator is trying to draw the attention to his consumption of alcohol, he tries to make sure that his actions trace back to it. In the short story, the narrator says "But my disease grew upon me -- for what disease is like Alcohol !..."(Poe 23) which shows his addiction for alcohol becoming stronger. The narrator's madness seems to be heightened by the alcohol. He begins to change slowly, at least from his point of view, and begins to become abusive. The narrator tells his story while sober, and says "I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them."(Poe 24). As a result of the alcohol abuse, he became increasingly violent towards his wife and pets. In an article by Richard Badenhausen, he states "Poe's narrator begins to have problems in his life when he can no longer find an appropriate corresponding object for his terror." (493). Many, not all, alcoholics don't know how to deal with problems like these and can start to feel their mentality slowly drifting away. Badenhausen also states, "...the narrator turns to the cat as a source of his problems even though he blames the demons haunting him on an alcoholic condition." (493), which indicates that the narrator decided to take things out on his loved ones, rather than dealing with his own problems in a different manner.
Even though the narrator wants us to believe alcohol is what's...

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