Motive and Meaning: The Mystery of the Will in Poe's "The Black Cat"

Stark, Joseph
March 2004
Mississippi Quarterly;Spring2004, Vol. 57 Issue 2, p255
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
The article explores the motive and will in author's Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Black Cat." The most prominent explanation of the tale is provided in theological context. This view holds that the cause for protagonist's behavior is the answer of the early 1700s that is human depravity. The text is radically ambivalent. It explores the issues of moral responsibility and the inexplicability of human evil but supplies no solution. The "moral" of Poe's tale, may be more a statement on the insufficiency of human reason than the nature of the human will.


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