Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat"

Photo Credit: rafa_luque via Flickr

Never mess with a kitty!

In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe published a short story named The Black Cat. It is a purrrfect Halloween read for teens and adults who can stomach Poe’s style of horror. This story is about guilt and the human conscious much like The Tell Tale Heart. Most of all, it is a story about how any man could be transformed into a monster.

In The Black Cat, Poe conjures up the most vile human being that he could imagine- a nameless man who also serves as the story’s narrator. The man is on death row recounting the path that got him there and questioning his own sanity. He talks about how he loved animals when he was young, but alcoholism turned him into an animal abuser. In particular he harms a black cat that won’t let him live down his guilt. In the end, the man kills his wife and almost gets away with it, but the black cat doesn’t let him off the hook that easily.

Edgar Allan Poe’s stories in this time period were likely a dramatized reflection of the happenings in his life. It was at this time that not only was Poe in financial ruins (his most famous work made him only $14), but his beloved wife lay dying of Tuberculous only a room or two away from where he was writing. Poe was an alcoholic and likely hated that about himself. He was able to see how a monster could live within every man.

For more information on Edgar Allen Poe and The Black Cat, read my post Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat“.

Want to compete?

I got a score of 21,322 on this word search. Can you get a higher one? The faster you find all of the words, the higher your score will be.

Instructions for the Interactive Word Search

  1. Words from the word list on the right are hidden within the puzzle. The words may be spelled forward, backward, or on a diagonal.
  2. Click on the first letter of the word, drag the cursor across the word, and click on the last letter of the word.
  3. The puzzle is finished once you have found all of the words.

 Whenever the man sees the black cat in Poe’s story, he is reminded of the guilt from something horrible he did. What do you think of when you see your pet?