cats, cats, cats, cats and more cats

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The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey–
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter–
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover–
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

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THEME AND MESSAGE

It is proposed that cats have three names, each signifying something different. Their first name is the name that humans give them and is usually quite common. This name is something simple and easy to remember, such as James or Peter. However, even fancier names such as Plato and Demeter may be given to a cat. Simple or ornate, such a name is still only the first name of a cat. The second name is a nickname of sorts, and no other cat may share it. These names are quite different from everyday names and are quite dignified. Otherwise, a cat would not be able to display such pride and, at times, arrogance. The third name is a name that no human will ever discover……
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is a lively and entertaining look at the amusing antics of cats and the foibles of people. The cat owner will recognize many instances of familiar feline behavior, and the perceptive reader will see numerous parallels to human attitudes and behavior.
Social Sensitivity
Although Eliot obviously prefers Cats to Dogs (whom he characterizes as easygoing louts), generally he admires and satirizes his Cats without any discernible bias; social class and occupation.
LITERARY DEVICES
Eliot’s Cats have been much admired for their complexity of character. In relatively brief descriptions, the poet manages to capture the personality of the Cats and their human counterparts. The adult reader is aware of the human foibles being satirized, but as in fairy tales, evil is viewed from a rather detached perspective; and a light, whimsical tone is achieved through Eliot’s puns, and his use of familiar rhymes and nonsense words. At the same time Eliot maintains a childlike point of view which makes the poems appealing to younger readers. Eliot’s ability to capture the natural rhythms of speech also gives the poems an informality which adds to their appeal.
Eliot was also one of the most well informed literary historians of his time, and possibly ever. His poetry is riddled with allusions and quotes from such a vast number of historical literatures that it may be impossible to fully discover the number of references he used. there are some influences that always stayed with Eliot.
• EXAMPLE: Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter,
Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, Eliot used pun (ineffable effable effanineffable)
• and familiar rhymes and nonsense words. There is an alternate rhyme in the poem… such as matter, games, hatter, names, daily, James, Bailey… etc. At the same time he maintains a childlike point of view which makes the poems appealing to younger readers. Eliot’s ability to capture the natural rhythms of speech also gives the poems an informality which adds to their appeal.
MOOD AND TONE
• There is a playful, and feel -good mood in the poem
• A light, whimsical and entertaining tone as well as informative tone is achieved because of the usage of allusions in the names of the cats.
POINT OF VIEW
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is narrated in the third person. You are aware of all of the aspects of the cats and you are a spectator to their capers. The narrator guides you through each poem and introduces every cat. Their good points are laid out and their deeds are then described. Example: his, himself It is obvious that Eliot was a big fan of cats, someone you would definitely call a “cat person.” Dogs are somewhat looked down upon, especially the Pekinese breed. This may be due to the popularity of the Pekinese in London during the time this book was written.

ANALYSIS USING DIFFERENT LITERARY APPROACHES
HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL APPROACH
• Generally he admires and satirizes his Cats without any discernible bias; social class and occupation. Eliot tried to use the best of everything. His influences were taken from the different literatures of almost every culture in the world. The dissimilarity between his influences was covered up with ease by his smooth writing style and syntax. Because of this, Eliot became a revolutionary writer and one of the greatest poets the world has ever known.
MYTH/SYMBOLIC/ARCHETYPAL APPROACH
• The cat himself is the myth, symbolic and archetype. In the poem, the cat symbolizes grace, playfulness at the same time deep contemplation.
PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH
• He represented the characters very real, symbolic yet complex. Since he’s a cat person, he personifies the cats without biases and represent them with human attitudes and behavior.
MORAL/PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH
• The poem may render readers to observe some of the good qualities of cats, particularly the way he meditated about life.
MIMETIC APPROACH
Eliot’s Cats have been much admired for their complexity of character. In relatively brief descriptions, the poet manages to capture the personality of the Cats and their human counterparts. The adult reader is aware of the human foibles being satirized, but as in fairy tales, evil is viewed from a rather detached perspective.

FORMALISM APPROACH
• Eliot was also one of the most well informed literary historians of his time, and possibly ever. His poetry is riddled with allusions and quotes from such a vast number of historical literatures that it may be impossible to fully discover the number of references he used. there are some influences that always stayed with Eliot.
• EXAMPLE: Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter,
Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, etc.
• Eliot used pun (ineffable effable effanineffable
• and familiar rhymes and nonsense words. There is an alternate rhyme in the poem… such as matter, games, hatter, names, daily, James, Bailey… etc.
READER RESPONSE APPROACH
• For some readers who are cat-lovers, they may really like this poem and start to analyze the names they may give to their pets that signifies one’s characteristics.

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