小说《黑猫》中主人公的病态心理 The Morbid Psychology of the Protagonist in The Black Cat毕业论文
“The Black Cat” is one of the representatives of the famous American writer Edgar Allan Poe, wining universal popularity among the readers for the delicate depiction of the characters’ inner development and the amazing creation of the horror environment. Previous studies on “The Black Cat” mostly cover the symbolic meanings of different characters under various theories and diverse explanation of the main character’s motives in killing his wife but seldom focus on the mere expression and development of the protagonist’s morbid psychology which is hidden under his deceptive narration. Through probing into the protagonist’s allegedly reasonable “house hold events” of atrocities, this paper digs out the development of the protagonist’s morbid psychology hidden under the alcoholism excuse and the process how his morbid psychology influences him to the series violent misdeeds. The protagonist’s aggressive abnormal love, self-denial hidden violence and unlimited malice are talked thoroughly while the reasons of such morbid psychologies are discussed so that insights can be offered for readers to better experience the horror tale “The Black Cat”.
Key Words: The Black Cat; Edgar Allan Poe; morbid psychology; horror tale
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Edgar Allan Poe and His Works 1
1.2 Literature Review 3
2 Abnormal Love 5
2.1Expression of the Protagonist’s love 5
2.2Distorted love 5
3 Hidden Violence 8
3.1Results of the protagonist’s violence 8
3.2Self-denial to hidden violence nature 8
4 Unlimited Malice 10
4.1Expression of the malice 10
4.2Inner connection with abnormal love and hidden violence 10
5 Conclusion 12
The Morbid Psychology of the Protagonist in “The Black Cat”
1.1 Edgar Allan Poe and His Works
Edgar Allan Poe is a preeminent American poet, critic and short story writer who contributed much to American literature, inventing the detective fiction genre, putting forward aesthetic and literary theories and creating quality poetry and tales. During his lifetime, Poe was mostly accepted and recognized as a literary critic while his literary works, especially those involved with horror elements and characterized by eccentricity were marginalized by publishers and critics in the 19th century United States. Unfortunate family life as well as unstable patrons and publishers, had brought unimaginable difficulties to his life and writing career.
Poe’ family life from childhood to marriage was covered by uneasiness. Raised by a foster family, Poe did not really know his biological parents. His father left the family in 1810, only one year after his birth and his mother died of tuberculosis when he was three. His name was given by the Allans, the foster family. Poe lived with John Allan, a successful merchant and Frances Valentine Allan, John’s wife since then. However, though getting along well with Frances Allan, Poe’s relationship with John Allan seemed not smooth because of Poe’s gambling and the insufficient money for his study life. During his time in University of Virginia, Poe’s beloved fiancée married someone else, and he left school after one semester because of the lack of money and his debt. In 1827 then, Poe joined the Army when he began his publishing career as his first book Tmaerlane and Other Poems was published during this time. His relationship with John Allan became even worse after the death of Frances Allan and eventually he left John Allan. Struggled in a life of poverty, Poe focused on full-time writing and finally got a break with short stories published. In 1836, he married his 13-year-old cousin Virginia who was his literary inspiration and passed away in 1847.
Known as the first one who earn a living by writing alone in America, Poe’s publishing career was remarkable. He worked for different magazines like Southern Literary Messenger and Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine where he contributed critics, poetry and prose before he started his own journal The Stylus. The two volume Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque was published during this time. However, during his life time, those short stories received less attention and positive remarks. Meanwhile, Poe received criticism like “a jingle man” by Emerson, the representative of American Transcendentalism and “three fifths of genius and two fifths sheer fudge” by James Russell Lowell, the famous American critic (Neimeyer, 2002). Though being undervalued during this period, Poe’s reputation was established belatedly after his death till the 20th century. Due to his great contribution to detective and mystery fictions, The Edgar Allan Poe Awards was set named after Poe by the Mystery Writers of America.