Animals And The Law: Legal Subjects And Oppressed Objects In “The Black Cat” And “The Murders In The Rue Morgue”

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joshua Daniel Wharton (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Zachary Vernon

Abstract: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “The Black Cat” have each garnered a large amount of criticism from many different fields of study. However, it seems that many critics prefer to analyze these stories separately and refrain from critiquing the two together. In addition to this, it seems that these two stories have also avoided criticism from the field of animal studies. In my thesis, I attempt to combine these two stories through the lens of animal studies in a way that reveals the stories’ plots as, in certain regards, inversions of each other. Through my analysis, I argue that, while these stories reflect a particular historical moment and the problems therein, they still underscore some of the roots that these problems grew out of. These roots that are exhibited in the two stories still seem to exist today and manifest through the problematic presentation of the human-animal binary, the muddling and ignoring of the fluidity of both animal and human subjectivity, and the lack of acknowledgement of different types subjectivity.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Wharton, J. (2017). "Animals And The Law: Legal Subjects And Oppressed Objects In “The Black Cat” And “The Murders In The Rue Morgue." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Edgar Allan Poe, Animal Studies, Posthumanism, The Black Cat, The Murders in the Rue Morgue

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