The Romantic period has numerous characteristics that help to distinguish itfrom other literary periods. A large majority of the pieces found in this periodhave at least one of the distinctive elements. Edgar Allan Poe uses a few ofthese elements to put a time frame on his short story, “The BlackCat”. Poe begins his short story by saying that “For the most wild,yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicitbelief”.
A big characteristic of Romanticism is a willing suspension ofdisbelief. It is never even thought that the plot to the story would be taken asbeing true, but rather as a made up story to get the attention of the reader.This also allows the reader to imagine if such a case were to actually occur.Each word that is read is meant to be doubted, and thought of as beingabsolutely bizarre, and with each new twist more doubt is created. Escapism,another key factor in Romanticism, is seen throughout the short story. The maincharacter, who is never specifically identified, is running from his life bydrinking alcohol. The alcohol eventually leads to the destruction of the firstblack cat, Pluto.
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The man felt the need to escape from Pluto even though theanimal was one of his most beloved pets. His wife and the second cat are beingrun from merely for the disturbing conscious that they provide for him. Bizarreand unusual plots are often found in the Romantic period, and Poe does not holdback in his efforts. To deliberately cut the cats eye out of its socket is bothbizarre and unusual regardless of being intoxicated or not. Even further, tohang the cat by a noose is ranked borderline for insanity.
But the most abnormalact is that of getting rid of your wife by creating a tomb in the walls of yourhome would definitely be insane. Such acts are used in this literary piece toillustrate clearly that many factors weigh in to the different writing periods.The Romantic period, known for such elements as improbable plots and unlikelycharacters, is an important era in literature. Poe used a very unusual plot tocreate a vivid image of what the Romantic period truly was, and his work will belooked at for years to come.