The Black Cat: A Comparison Between The Movie and The Book


There are major differences between the film we saw in class and The
Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe. The film had added effects to get the viewer's
attention. The film also let out important parts that were in the short story.
The short story gave the reader a better background for character analysis.
Although the story was much more enticing because the reader knew the main
character better.
In the short story the man(abusive husband) is described as a loving and
caring husband, who is very fond of animals. He describes to the reader how his
obsession with alcohol is like a disease. He gets more irritable everyday
because his cravings for alcohol become greater and greater. He was often
physically abusive to his wife. One night the man came home very drunk and
violent so Pluto(the black cat) scratched him out of fear. then the man lost his
temper and cut out the cat's eye with his penknife. One morning the man hanged
the cat from a tree limb with a noose around its neck. That night his house
burnt to the ground. In the morning he found a petrified white cat with a rope
around its neck in the charred remains. A few days later the man saw a black
cat with a white chest and he liked it so much he let the cat follow him home.
The cat made itself at home but the man avoided it because of a sense of shame
for his former deed. The next day the man noticed that the cat was missing an
eye just as Pluto. His wife pointed out that the white spot on its chest
resembled the Gallows! The cat made the man trip in his basement one day. So
he picked up an ax to kill the cat, and his wife stepped in the way and he put
the ax through her brains. The man decided to hide the body and the cat behind
a bricked up wall in the basement. The police came and looked at everything.
Just before they left, they heard a noise from the basement wall. So they tore
the bricks down. Thus they discovered the body and the black cat.
The film hints that the man was once a loving and caring husband. The
wife told her husband he was not the same man she married. The film shows how
the alcohol made the man abuse his wife for more drinking money. There is no
hint of affection for animals shown. The man's wife is having an affair because
she doesn't love her husband anymore. When the man finds out what his wife is
doing he poisons his wife and her boyfriend. Then he bricks them up behind a
wall in the basement along with the black cat he hated.
Based on this information the critic can see these two story plots are
completely different. They even describe the man differently. There is one
similarity between the two plots. "A guilty conscious never feels secure." The
man experiences the truth of this statement because he basically gives the
murder away when the cat is heard. Although the two story plots were different,
Poe's unique style of writing can entice anyone.

Category: English