Literary context

Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories are often seen as gothic stories. This genre frequently resorts to ambiguity and puzzling characters. Furthermore, the setting is dark, and the aim is to instil feelings of horror and suspense in the readers. These elements can also be encountered in “The Black Cat,” as the setting of the story is ambiguous, and the narrator has an unstable state of mind that drives him to commit murder.

The gothic genre also frequently deals with issues of the supernatural, but also with psychological breakdown. In “The Black Cat”, the writer suggests that the cats may be supernatural (the reference to witches and the changing shape of the second cat’s pat...

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