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Black Cat/Cask - Essay Example

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He narrates two different, but similar in traits, male protagonists in the “The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” The narrator of “The Black…
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June 14, The Egos and Arrogance of Montresor and the Narrator of “The Black Cat” Edgar Allan Poe is known for his Gothic stories about the supernatural, the insane, and the malevolence of human hearts. He narrates two different, but similar in traits, male protagonists in the “The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” The narrator of “The Black Cat” hacks his wife’s head with an ax and hides her body inside their wall, while Montresor of “The Cask of Amontillado” kills Fortunato by walling him alive in the cellars and tombs of his ancestors. The two characters are the same because they have high regards of themselves, to the point of being egomaniacs; they are also vengeful against those whom they think have wronged them; and they have no conscience. The narrator of “The Black Cat,” however, has a more aggressive nature than Montresor because of his violent outbursts.
The male protagonists are the same because they have too much pride, they are vengeful, and they have no conscience, though, they are different because the narrator of “The Black Cat” is more violent in temperament than Montresor. The male protagonists of these two stories are full of pride because they think highly of themselves, too highly that they believe that they can commit murders and easily get away with it. The narrator of “The Black Cat” sees himself as a “man fashioned in the image of the High God” (141), not because he is religious, but because he thinks that he is too important for the black cat to bother. Montresor is also conceited. He kills Fortunato because of an “insult” (144), and he also shows off the vaults of the Montresors to Fortunato (146). He wants to impress upon Fortunato that he wronged a man from a prestigious family; therefore, the latter must suffer permanently. Because of these narrators’ extreme arrogance, they killed whoever was on their paths. When they killed, they had no second thoughts, as if their consciences are nonexistent. The narrator of “The Black Cat” sleeps soundly despite killing his wife (142), for example, while Montresor does the work of walling up Fortunato without considering the latter’s family. The narrator of “The Black Cat,” however, is different from Montresor because he is more violent in his ways. Before trying to ax his cat, he has had a violent outburst before with animals. He axed his wife and hid her in the wall too. He does not show revulsion for his acts at all. He has the same style as Montresor in hiding the body through concealing it inside their properties, but he beholds a more vicious trait, a love for gruesome violence that Montresor lacks. In a sense, the narrator of “The Black Cat” appears to be more psychotic or lacking of human empathy than Montresor.
Poe terrifies his audience with two killers. These killers are like normal people, but inside, they are easy to be insulted, vengeful, and conscience-less. They are different, nonetheless, because Montresor does not seem like someone who can use an ax to kill Fortunato. He is more “delicate” in his ways then and less prone to violent outbursts as the narrator of “The Black Cat.” Nevertheless, these protagonists are both cold-blooded murderers because of their lack of human empathy and narcissism.
Works Cited
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.”1843.
---. “The Cask of Amontillado.” 1846. Read More
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