Literature comes to Life!

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Education, Humanity, Literature


Edgar Allan Poe – with all due respect – is one of the creepiest (if not the creepiest) writers I have ever encountered in my literary studies. With that being said, he is one of my favourite writers for that very reason, also for the fact that I am unlike many of his characters. For instance, I am unlike the narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart who opts to kill an old man due to his eye; I am unlike Montresor (The Cask of Amontillado) who decides to gruesomely take revenge upon another by chaining him behind a wall; and unlike many others who take awkward and often grotesque steps to cure their personal ills.

I use Poe’s The Black Cat for my grade 10 course – it just so happens to not only connect with the theme of my course, but harbours one of the more intriguing topics we discuss (perversity)…but I digress. The story, itself, revolves around a self-described drunk narrator who cuts his cat’s eye out after it bites him on the hand – the next day he decides to kill the cat by hanging it from a tree. His house burns to the ground and he eventually finds a new cat that follows him home to his new place of residence that he and his wife are now forced to inhabit. When he opts to kill the new cat, his wife stops him from doing so. Angered by her interference, he takes an axe and buries it into her head. He sums up this horrific act by walling her body up behind a fake wall in their cellar.

I go to great lengths to connect the literature we read to our own lives. By admission, this is a very difficult story (plot-wise) to connect to real life because of how unlikely the story is to be true. However, a colleague of mine sent me a recent news article that seems to mirror the latter half of Poe’s short story:

When JoAnn Nichols disappeared in 1985, a detective immediately zeroed in on one man: her husband. James Nichols [her husband] was a loner and anti-social…In December [2012], he died of natural causes at the age of 82. When a contractor was hired to clean out the debris-choked house…workers found JoAnn Nichols’ skeletal remains in a container behind a false wall. Officials said she died from a blow to the head. (USA Today. July 3, 2013)

Spooky, right?

  1. Melissa says:

    🙂 love it

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