Get help from the best in academic writing.

Death to Feminists in Ode to the Death of a Favorite Cat

Death to Feminists in Ode to the Death of a Favorite Cat

For any scholar, the feminist method of criticizing literature is something that can no longer be pushed under the carpet and ignored. But before this modern idea overruns literary society and causes many great pains, one should read a simple, yet subtle, poem by English poet Thomas Gray. In “Ode to the Death of a Favorite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes”, Gray gives a solemn warning to those who would use Feminism too freely and without checks to guards its attempts to overrun literary criticisms.

Feminist critique is a relatively new method. It has its origins in the 1950’s and 60’s but did not really take shape until the feminist movements of the 70’s and 80’s. Only in the 90’s has it become standard in textbooks. This triumph of feminine thought has come to a head, and many authors seek to use this technique to criticize society. Authors such as Eleanor Wilner, for example, have used their feminist poetry to slander the “male-dominated” society in which humans currently reside.

Before this method runs amuck, however, one should consider the fate of one who aims for the triumph of feminist thought, or “gold” as Thomas Gray phrases it, too hastily. Thomas Gray exemplifies this in “Ode to the Death of a Favorite Cat” by using the cat as a symbol for the females who seek to use the method for their own ends, such as Eleanor Wilner. In line 23, Gray notes, “What female heart can gold despise?” This 250-year-old question serves as an ominous warning for those who see it.

Using the feminist method again and again can also lead to trouble. With time, people may become so fed up with the idea that everything views women as inferiors that it may become an idea on its own. Without a following, the idea will cease to be practiced. The following Gray points out are Dolphin, Nereid, Tom, and Susan, but none came to save their drowning comrade for “A fav’rite has no friend!” (Line 34-36)

Feminist and Dialogic Approaches in The Fatal Sisters

Feminist and Dialogic Approaches in The Fatal Sisters

Thomas Gray’s method of transforming monological poems into intense psyche films is fascinating. While reading The Fatal Sisters, readers can actually engage in a mind performance because of the choices of words, vivid actions, social aspects, and mythology that Gray displays here. The feminist and dialogic approaches, applied together, help shape the realm of this poem into a complex event in history that still takes place today.

The feminist approach reveals many things about this poem that would otherwise be overlooked. To start, Gray presents us with Norse mythology. The twelve women in this poem are acknowledging the maidens of Oden who conduct the souls of heroes slain in the battle of Vahalla. This poem is their song. It sounds as a prayer that they are reciting to the war maidens Mista, Sangrida, and Hilda. “It is well-documented that in many cultures, when matriarchal societies were replaced with patriarchal ones, the previously venerated goddesses were turned by the new culture into witches, seductresses, or fools.”(Guerin 207) These women’s matriarch society was turned into a patriarch society. This is why the battle is going on. Supreme classes of men are combating for more power. The power that men took away from old matriarchal archetypes.

Another approach helpful in analyzing this poem is Marxist feminism. Marxist feminism points out the social class that these women are in and leads us further to determine their fate. The women in The Fatal Sisters belong to the working class. They constitute a union and are bonded by sisterhood. The writers of the 1970’s movie, Norma Rae, had this poem in mind when making this film. The Fatal sisters know their job. The fate of the men’s lives are in the sisters hands. “Glitt’ring lances are the loom, where the dusky warp we strain, weaving many a soldier’s doom, Orkney’s woe, and Randver’s bane.”(5-8) The sisters are not affected by the war that is taking place. Their only focus is their duties, which are to finish making war flags and aid in killing.

The biological and liguistical models also shape the feminine approach. The preface draws a detailed abstract to what these women look like. “Till looking through an opening in the rocks he saw twelve gigantic figures resembling women.”(Gray 38) This is very offensive. He could have called them sturdy women, or large women.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.