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Word Count: 714
The Destructive Power of Guilt Guilt and remorse are emotions that are often experienced by humans in general and the emotional and physical response to these emotions can be very powerful and misleading In the Black Cat Edgar Allen Poe spins a wondrously horrific plot that consists of a quilt deranged man driven to persecute the object of his offense The mans ruthless compulsion to ease his guilt through destructive means leads ultimately to his own demise The murder of Pluto the appearance of the second black cat and the ruthless slaying of an innocent woman are the series of significant events that are interweaved to create Poes bloodcurdling tale Overwhelming and demented feelings of guilt compulsively drive the narrator of the story to brutally slay his companion cat After the man removes Plutos eye with a knife he is remorseful but his feeling of guilt quickly manifests itself as irritation para 9 The cats fear of the man is a constant reminder of the horrible deed that he has performed and he begins to project his hatred of self onto his disfigured cat As his notions of remorse further deteriorate his unsound mind he destroys the object and source of his offense With guilt eating away at his conscious the mans sanity falls further into degradation and he unleashes his cruelty on an innocent victim The narrator describes the force of destruction that drives him as the spirit of Perverseness and this impulse causes him to remorsefully hang the cat because he knows that it loves him and it is an act he should not commit para9 The appearance of the second black cat casts a spellbinding power over an already guilt sickened mind At first the narrator is very pleased by the affection bestowed upon him by the second cat but little by little he begins to dread and loathe its mere presence para 16-17 In the
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