Within the first few paragraphs of the story, the narrator foreshadows that he will violently harm his wife ("At length, I even offered her personal violence.").
The reader also discovers (with the introduction of Pluto into the story) that the narrator is superstitious, as he recounts that his wife made "...frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, [that] all black cats [are] witches in disguise." Even though the narrator denies this (much as the narrator in denies that he or she is insane), the reader becomes increasingly aware of his superstitious belief as the story progresses.
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Research has shown that the biggest amount of common adult dreams are in a category known as “pseudonightmarish” dreams, which is essentially any dream of being in trouble or in danger, being alone and/or trapped, something you don’t have control over (like losing your teeth), or facing natural forces....
In “The Use of Force”, the story is narrated by a doctor, who is answering a house call to see a sick girl, whose parents fear that she may have diphtheria....
Now the story has an added twist as the narrator hopes that the reader, like himself, will be convinced that these events were "...an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects." [See Style and Interpretation]
At that point, the rest of the story is told in flashback, as the narrator pens "...the most wild, yet homely narrative...[whose] events have terrified--have tortured--have destroyed [him]."
However, are the events of the story, as the narrator suggests, based upon "...an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effect," or are they indeed caused by the supernatural?