Monday, January 10, 2011

Virginia's Big Black Eyes

A Trial to Analyze Poe's: "The Black Cat"

Receiving love from the mother in early childhood, and being securely attached is essential to develop the capability of loving, loving the self, and the others. Depression, and other personality development problems, have been linked to disturbed early relationships.

Born in 1809. Father died in 1810. Mother died in 1811. Brother died young. Sister became insane later. That was his first nuclear family, poor Edgar Allan Poe. At 27 years of old he got married to his cousin Virginia Clemm, who was 13. Some biographers have suggested that the couple's relationship was more like that between brother and sister than like husband and wife in that they might have never consummated their marriage. Virginia died in January 1847 at the age of 24 (they say of tuberculosis). After two years, in 1849, he returned briefly to Richmond in 1849 and then set out for an editing job in Philadelphia. For unknown reasons, he stopped in Baltimore. On October 3, 1849, he was found in a state of semi-consciousness. Poe died four days later of "acute congestion of the brain" (They suspected suicide especially Poe was an alcohol addict).


Soon the moon will rise

And in this stony night

I have to see your face

See the lines that make you old

Stony silence, touched by gold

Everything's too late

Too late for love, and suddenly

Too late for hate

There's only one thing left to do

I have to face this other you


Lyrics: Half in Love Half in Hate, Harket Morten



video

Film made by me, collecting photos from the net, adding the music, using Windows Movie Maker.



This is a trial to analyze Edgar Allan Poe's short story: "The Black Cat":


Pluto, the narrator's favorable pet, a black cat, started gradually to be the target of hatred, a hatred that is intense to a degree that it might be convincing to think that it is a "displaced" hatred. Pluto's love toward the narrator was triggering feelings of "loathing" in the narrator's heart.


Pluto was "covering me with its loathsome caresses."
The narrator usually" flee silently from its odious presence as from a breath of a pestilence".
But, "it followed my footsteps with pertinacity which it would be difficult to make the reader comprehend."
(Note: not receiving love at childhood renders the person, theoretically, as unable to receive, nor give, love to others – thinking about Poe's childhood - ).

The narrator describes his living in his house as living in a "felon's cell".
(Note: The narrator admits that he is a felon. He feels guilt for his inability to love. He doen't hate others only, he hates his-own-self).

An "unutterable loathing" that led the narrator once to "cut one of its eyes out of the pocket" because he "fancied that the cat avoided – his – presence".
(Note: Virginia, Poe's wife, was described for her beautiful big black eyes:
"Mrs. Poe looked very young; she had large black eyes, and a pearly whiteness of complexion, which was a perfect pallor. Her pale face, her brilliant eyes, and her raven hair gave her an unearthly look.")

He finally killed Pluto.

Yet, targeting the wrong target will never satisfy the original desire, and it was just a matter of few hours when that "figure of a gigantic cat" appears in the wall to disturb the husband.
(Note: in the short story, the wife never was mentioned to react to the bizarre way behavior of her husband toward Pluto. Was she passive-aggressive? And she was not mentioned at all when that figure of a gigantic cat appeared in the wall, leading to the conclusion, that she was the one whom the husband tried to kill, but she reappeared in the second morning, as passive as a shadow in the wall).

So, Poe, invented another cat, another black cat, to keep targeting.

Another cat is introduced to the short story.

His wife was brave finally, with her innate feminine emotional intelligence, to stop in the process of the continuous "displacement" hence while going all together to the cellar (cellar = Id, unconscious) of their house and while he, with the axe in his hand, tried to hit the cat, his wife, seized his arm, corrected the path of his displaced emotion, to receive the axe herself, directly to her own head. "She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan", says Poe!


Notice the disappearance of the black cat after the wife's death, and the "tranquil sleep" and the "secured future felicity" which appears thereafter.

At the first page, Poe wrote: "My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events."

So, it was all, mere household events, poor Virginia!

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