The black cat: the name and the meaning behind

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American Literature I

The name and the cat

After reading The Black Cat, obviously I was interested in learning more

about the cat and the possible implications he could have that weremore subtle

throughout the narration. The topic of this report will be the cat’s name: Pluto.

By its very definition, Pluto is the god of the underworld. He’s been given

many names, of course,Hades as a Greek form and Orcus as the Roman form. It’s

discussed that Pluto is either a Latinized form of Greek, or its classic Roman name.

The various sources contradict each other as for whatmythology gave birth to the

name, and some, such as, just goes as far as calling it of Classical

Mythology. The website Etymonline gives more insight on the origin of the nameinstead, elaborating that the language from where it comes from is Greek, and

Plouton means “god of wealth”. It’s speculated that it’d be translated more literally

to “overflowing”, fromPronto-Indo-European, in which *pleu stands for “to flow”.

The connections between every aspect of the name and the relationship

between the narrator and the cat are as many as astonishing. It seemsto me that

it was a very thoroughly thought through decision.

By giving the cat one of the variations of the name of the god of the

underworld, it strengthens the link between the cat and thesupernatural. As if the

hints as demonic witches turning into cats wasn’t already hint enough, he uses the

name choice to make it clearer. If the god of the underworld himself shares a namewith the cat, then there certainly isn’t anything stopping the creature from being an

evil beast, capable of influencing his actions and character.

The absurd inconsistency of which Mythology thename comes from can also

be considered relevant to the story, to the point in which we never know for sure

whether the cat was a supernatural being or the narrator’s actions were anything...
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