Within Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Black Cat,” madness is presented as a horror worse than any other. On the surface, the story concerns itself entirely with the supernatural powers of the cat, its predecessor, and their effect on their master. Beneath this extraordinary cover, madness is presented as the true reason behind the narrator’s feelings and actions. This interpretation of Poe’s work shows how madness, or a lack of reason, was feared more by the narrator and, in reflection, the intended audience of “The Black Cat,” rather than by any other supernatural terror. To explore the true fear of madness and its relevancy within this work, several published articles and close readings of the text were compared and contrasted. Through this exploration, madness is determined to play a bigger role than originally assumed in Poe’s “The Black Cat.”
Elswick, Morgan E..
"The Unspeakable: Fearing Madness in Poe's "The Black Cat"."
The Downtown Review.
Available at: http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/tdr/vol2/iss2/2