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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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The interpretation of this poem can be viewed in two different ways. This poem is either a simple story of a cat that was not on Mother Nature's good side and drowned in pursuit of eating his nemesis the fish. Or this story can be seen as relative to all of our lives how we would all like to have the guts to fight and have the courage just to go for our dreams and reach out and grab what we want. I have often felt trapped as the fish did. He couldn't do anything but watch as the cat came towards him eyeing him for the cat's dinner. Maybe the author, Thomas Gray was writing this poem not just to write about cat's something that most people love, but to also write about the struggle that all humans feel at one point or another.