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Morals of Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat (Favourite)

Morals of Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat (Favourite)

It is very difficult to understand what a writer mean when they write a poem, because you have to get in to a frame of mind that you think the writer was in when they composed the poem. In the Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes, Thomas Gray uses a cat and fish to teach a moral.

In the Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes the setting was set in the first stanza. The poem gave you an idea that it took place in a very nice house that had a large china vase, that held water, also it give the allusion that in this vase were flowers and fish. It describes beautiful blue tinted flowers in bloom and the fish as angel like Beta fish, which had a coat of amour made in gold with the hint of royal purple. When Gray went into describing a fluffy black and white tabby cat with deep green eyes.

The cat’s name is Selima and she is perched at the top of the vase watching the fish glide through the water. Selima was planning to eat the fish as soon as she could catch them. So she slowly reached with her paw to nab one of the fishes, her first attempt fails so she thinks again of how she can reach them. Eventually she falls in and tries to get out eight times while crying for help from a forgiving soul. No one seems to hear her and she drowns in the water where the fish swam.

Thomas Gray asks two questions ” What female heart can gold despise? What cat’s averse to fish?” (lines 23 and 24) the meaning of those questions are that some gold is not meant for women and these fishes were not meant to be eaten by Selima. Also the “female” could reflect the cat since cats are generalized has feminine and “gold” referring to the fish. Gray also states “Malignant fate sat by, and smil’d” (line 28) which leads me to believe that fate was laughing at the cat and not helping it cause fate knew what was going to happen. In line twenty-nine “The slipp’ry verge her feet beguil’d” is an illusion to that the cat thinks it has balance and yet she does not cause she falls into the fish bowl.

Formalistic Approach to Ode to the Death of a Favorite Cat (Favourite)

Formalistic Approach to Ode to the Death of a Favorite Cat (Favourite)

Ode to the Death of a Favourite Cat is a very interesting poem especially when you begin to break it down using the formalistic approach to literature. This poem at first glance could be taken as just another story about a cat that drowns trying to eat his prey, the goldfish. As we look more closely we realize that the poem has so many more meanings.

The form of a poem is also a large component on the effectiveness. This poem has 7 stanzas with 6 lines in each. The third and sixth line in each is shorter and is indented. Thomas Gray used a rhyme scheme of AABCCB.

The first way that an author can write his poem is by using a point of view that is either from the cat, goldfish, or a separate all together person, the observer. Thomas Gray chose to use the narrator approach. This use is very effective because it gives us the opinion of all of the characters involved. This also gives us a view of the entire story not just one persons perspective.

Also the symbolism in this poem is largely effective. Gray doesn’t simply describe things like green eyes. He goes into detail by using descriptive adjectives like emerald eyes, ears of jet, tortoise vies, snowy beard, and pensive Selima. The usage of these words adds to the ornamentation of the poem.

The cat is also a symbolic character. She is described as a character that is somewhat closely related to what Freud describes as an Id. This is someone who is much like a two-year-old child. They only see what they want and go for it. In this person there is no sense of obstacles or that you might have to work to receive the prize this is not a thought in that person’s head.

In this poem there are many examples of assonance . Assonance is a technique that repeats the beginning letters in a phrase to add emphasis. He uses phrases such as emerald eyes, golden gleam, and heedless hearts. This is effective because it adds to the use of metaphors and the distinction of the description.

The structure of Thomas Gray’s Ode to the death of a Favourite Cat is in order of events how they happen.

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