Allusion in The Black Cat

Most of the ideological material in “The Black Cat” is derived from the Judeo-Christian bible. Throughout the story, the protagonist is wary of God’s attention, particularly as his behavior slips into a sinful chaos. Even as the protagonist drinks and commits acts of violence, he keeps an eye toward heaven. Because the narrative unfolds from his perspective, we are locked within his fearful vision of what he calls “the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.” Much of the story is concerned with the protagonist’s self-conscious wanderings into the terrain of sin.

Allusion Examples in The Black Cat:

The Black Cat 1

"Pluto—this was the cat's name..."   (The Black Cat)

Poe’s choice to name the cat after the Roman god of the underworld is significant. We understand that the cat has supernatural qualities, is associated with death, and may, like its namesake, exist in a liminal state between realms of the living and the dead.