Among the psychological interpretations of Edgar Allan Poe's “The Black Cat,” trauma theory has yet to make an appearance. However, the confessional nature of the story shifts—via a trauma reading—from an attempt by the narrator to ease his guilt to his attempt to understand what happened to him. “The Black Cat” reveals a man's search to understand how he committed violent acts when trauma and preconceived self-understandings obscure his ability to reconcile his violent actions. The narrator's murder of his wife traumatized him, causing erasures in the timeline and several forms of dissociation. These erasures and dissociations cause an uncanny effect within the story, which show the narrator to be his own doppelganger as well as an instance of the biform. However, these symptoms suggest that the narrator does not have enough critical distance from the events, so telling his tale becomes a form of reliving that does not relieve the confusion he experiences. Ultimately, the narrator's confession does not provide the understanding he hopes for, which places the burden of creating an understanding of the story on the individual reader.

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