2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Descent into Madness: A Psychoanalytical Examination of the Narrator in Poe's "The Black Cat"
Corin E. Hoke
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The nameless narrators journey in The Black Cat is one of mental disintegration expressed through violence, control, and guilt. His obsessive adoration of animals over humans coupled with his docile attitude toward society commit him to a life of solitude. However, a downward spiral into alcoholism unleashes a lifetime of pent-up aggression. The nameless narrator I suddenly bursts into a fit of self-expression translated into violence and hatred for himself and all those around him. Poe communicates the importance of avoiding the repression of one's instincts and feelings in order to escape destruction of the mind. This paper explores mental disintegration along with the effects of guilt and repression using a psychoanalytical approach.

Keywords: Edgar Allen Poe, The Black Cat, psychoanalysis, repression of instincts, mental disintegration, guilt, violence, control


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 301-5
Location: MG 1000
Time: 2:00

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