Poe's Short Stories

The Unpredictable Map: Unreliable Narration in "The Black Cat" 8th Grade

When you are trying to find treasure, you follow the map. When you read a story, you listen to the narrator. Once you get to the final destination, you might not find treasure, a disappointment which would mean that you had a deceptive map. Similarly, the events might not come out to be as you predicted, so the narrator would be unreliable. You have to dig deep in the ground so that you can find out if the treasure is truly there. In the same way, as a reader, you have to dig deeper and read critically to figure out whether the narrator is reliable or not. “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe concerns a narrator who is telling the reader his story about how he ended up where he is: in jail. It all starts when he gets a cat named Pluto that loves him until it gets abused which leads to many other horrific events. It becomes obvious that the narrator has no conscience because Poe reveals the type of character he really is. In “The Black Cat,” the narrator indicates many signs of being unreliable, as he makes the reader question which details to believe, denies being insane, and states how he became perverse.

To start off, the narrator starts to tell the reader his story with some details that might, in and of themselves, not be...

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