As is typical for a Poe story, “The Black Cat” challenges the reader to decide the truth of something for themselves. At the start of “The Black Cat” the narrator tells you he’s pretty sure you won’t believe his story. Then he tells you a story that might be supernatural, or it might not.
Remember that our narrator uses fancy words to make you think he’s intelligent and educated. He’s doing that because he wants you to respect him. As well, remember that he tends to dress up the ugly truth with those pretty words, to make the bad things he did seem less important.
With that in mind, I want you to decide for yourself whether he’s a man who is haunted, or whether the supernatural story is an invention he’s using to avoid responsibility for his evil actions.
It would be wise to make an T chart to map this out.
It could look like this:
Once you fill this out, in a tight, well argued paragraph I want you to come up with your core argument. Tell me whether this is a supernatural story or not, and give you evidence and explanation that supports that.
NOTE: EVIDENCE WITHOUT EXPLANATION IS LIKE A SANDWICH THAT’S NOT ASSEMBLED.
You could eat it, but it's a mess, and it doesn't exactly make sense this way.
I look forward to your core arguments, which will be the basis for a larger writing next week.