The Dead Kitty in Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat (Favourite)

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The Dead Kitty in Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat (Favourite)

Gray's "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes" is a story of a curious cat that ends up in Purrgitory (ha ha). Gray uses not only formalistic literary devices, but he also uses dialog. As Gray speaks to the reader, he uses word choice and allusions to convey the correlation between women and cats.

Word choice plays a major roll in this poem, due to the fact that it helps set up allusion and other literary devices. Word choice also helps bring out the theme of relating women to cats with such phrases as "The hapless nymph with wonder saw:"(Gray 19) Nymphs are demigods, that are associated with nature and beauty. There is a second reference to nymphs, "No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd:.."(Gray 34) Nereid is a sea nymph. One of the best parts in the poem is when Gray is describing the cat. "Her conscious tail her joy declar'd; The fair round face, the snowy beard, The velvet paws, Her coats, that with the tortoise vies, Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,"(Gray 7- 11) This is great example of word choice and description. Gray also uses the word choice to create the atmosphere of grandeur.

Gray shows this form of word choice when he is describing the flowers in the first stanza, "The azure flowers,…"(Gray 3) He could have simply said the blue flowers, but by using this first form he is alluding to something greater. In the second stanza when he is describing the cat, he seems to also be describing women. Gray at this point is talking about how the cat move, especially it's tail. One of the main things that draws people's attention to a women is how they move, cats have the same attribute. Another allusion in the story is dealing with gold objects. "What female's heart can gold despise? What Cat's averse to fish?" (Gray 23-24) This refers to the desire that women have for jewelry and other expensive things. Compared to the desire of the cat for the gold fish. "Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue throughout richest purple to the view betray'd a golden gleam."(Gray 16-18) Gray is making a reference to the city of Tyre, which is famous for making purple dye, which Kings used for their royal colors.
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