Forms of imagery (with examples)
Visual imagery is perhaps the most frequently used form.
* The crimson liquid spilled from the neck of the white dove, staining and matting its pure, white feathers.
Auditory imagery represents a sound.
* The bells chimed 2 o'clock and Daniel got ready for school.
* Onomatopoeia: a word that makes a sound.
Kinetic imagery represents movement
* as in Wordsworth's poem Daffodils: "tossing their heads in sprightly dance"
Olfactory imagery represents a smell.
* Gio's socks, still soaked with sweat from Tuesday's P.E. class, filled the classroom with an aroma akin to that of salty, week-old, rotting fish.
Gustatory imagery represents a ...view middle of the document...
* Mister S's classes are intricate ice sculptures in summer.
* Big Daddy's face is a garden.
* Paola's eyes were endless pools of beauty.
* Dasean's voice was an explosion of sound.
The Black Cat Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory
Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.
If you are looking for information on one or the other of the black cats here in this section, we can understand why. These furry friends seem like symbols or allegories. However, we cover their symbolic and allegorical aspects in their "Character Analyses."
The Night Mare
Things start to get hairy for the narrator when the second cat comes along. The cat won't leave him alone, day or night. If the man falls asleep, he has bad dreams, and always wakes up with the cat sitting on his chest, breathing on his face. So the narrator eventually stops sleeping.
The narrator describes the cat as a "Night Mare," though some texts, like the University of Virginia e-text used here, run the two words together to form nightmare, which is the usual contemporary spelling. According to a footnote in The Selected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, "The Night Mare myth was a dream horse ["mare" is another word for "horse"] that trampled people in their sleep, it's great weight causing a sense of suffocation" (353, Source ).
In many Poe stories, we aren't completely sure whether the narrator is asleep, awake, or somewhere in between. "The Black Cat" is one of those stories. The narrator admits to nodding off frequently, and to sleep deprivation. His dream life and his waking life combine to form an almost seamless nightmare-scape.
As with all his other problems, the narrator blames this situation on the cat. In his old cat-lover days, he might have considered the cat's snuggling a sign of affection, but the cat has become an easy victim for his rage. He sees it as a sign of menace, and of his guilt. It is only once the cat (and the wife) are out of the way, the man sleeps easy.
The Pen-knife, Eyes, and Vision
"The Black Cat" is a brutal story, where the home becomes a site of torture, terror, and murder. The man admits to abusing his wife and animals, but only goes into detail a few times. The first time involves a pen-knife.
A pen-knife is supposed to be used for sharpening the narrator's quill pen. Still, it is a knife and always has the potential to be used as a weapon. When the narrator uses the knife to "deliberately cut one of [Pluto's] eyes from the socket" the knife's potential is fulfilled (7). When we read the above lines we might get some kind of intense image in our mind. It probably provokes a variety of feelings.
When we understand the knife is meant to sharpen pens, the imagery becomes confused. The mind wants to see a pen where it sees an eye. Symbolically, the man is sharpening the cat's eye with his knife. Pluto learns to see that his beloved master is cruel and violent to the extreme. He also will experience a literal change...