“In the Hands of the Reader” is an analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” integrating the views of Michael Jay Lewis in his article “Contingency, Narrative, Fiction: Vogler, Brenkman, Poe.” “The Black Cat” is a narrative penned by a man reflecting on his life as he awaits his own death. As the narrator is mentally unstable and therefore unreliable, the reader is brought into the story to interpret the truth or falsehood of the narrator’s story. Lewis is accurate in his strong acknowledgment of the unreliability of the narrator, yet he fails to address in-depth the reason for this unreliability, the narrator’s unstable mental state. In Lewis’ overemphasis of Poe’s role within rather than above his story, he detracts from the influence of the narrator and the interpretation of the reader. Overall though, Michael Lewis’ interpretation of Poe’s “The Black Cat” is fairly strong and allows the reader to interpret the narrator’s account in new and insightful ways.
Kapus, Allie J.
"In the Hands of the Reader,"
Aidenn: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal of American Literature:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/lujal/vol1/iss1/3