ISSN 1226-8682

대한영어영문학회 전자저널

대한영어영문학회 전자저널


47권 4호 (2021년 11월)

인간 정신의 ‘도착성’과 죄의식으로서의 공포: 에드가 앨런 포의 「검은 고양이」


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Kim, Sun-ok. “Perverseness of the Human Psyche and Horror as Guilt in Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Black Cat’.” Studies in English Language & Literature 47.4 (2021): 1-21 This study aims to explore the abnormal human psychology called ‘perverseness’ and the action of guilt in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” from the psychoanalytic perspective. In the process of meeting the ideal masculinity required in the 19th-century patriarchy, the narrator of “The Black Cat” performs excessive masculinity and pursues the desire to violate the law of the Symbolic order in a perverted way. However, after committing a ‘sin’ of abusing and killing his beloved cat he does not remain a Lacanian subject pursuing forbidden desires at any cost and pain. Instead, caught up in the fear caused by the unconscious guilt after facing the second cat that seems to be possessed by the first cat’s ghost, he becomes almost a neurotic, eventually killing his wife and destroying himself. Although he shows psychopathic tendencies in carefully hiding the body after murdering his wife, the strange urge to expose his crime can be seen as a self-destructive punishment given by the collaboration between the Superego, the agent of conscience and morality, and the aggressive and impulsive Id. In short, the ‘perverseness’ revealed by the narrator of “The Black Cat” not only has a trait of the Lacanian desire for ‘the Thing’ existing beyond the Symbolic order, but also contains a strong impulse to punish the subject himself through the unconscious guilt, which represents the complex and dynamic human psyche explored by Freud. (Wonkwang University)


# Edgar Allan Poe # The Black Cat # perverseness # guilt # horror


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