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

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

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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.

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In the second to last stanzas it talks about how she cried out to a "wat'ry God" to send aid to her. "No dolphins came, no Nereid stirr'd: Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard" which in my opinion means that no one heard Selima not even another cat, servant or even her owner came to help her in her dismay.

The last stanza is basically the moral to the little story. The first two lines make the reader believe that the beauty of the vase nor the fishes where disturbed and that one false step could mean your life. The rest of that stanza has the bases of the moral, which is do not always go for everything that you want cause it could turn out that it is not what it seemed to be in the first place. An example of this moral in today's society would be a company that relies on its stock to help it succeed. As the stock goes up the company seem to get cocky with the money they have until the stock starts to drop. Then eventually they company will have to file for bankrupts cause they choose to send their money foolishly.

Thomas Gray originally wrote this poem in honor of Selima, Walpole's cat that drowned after tumbling into a china goldfish bowl. I believe that as he wrote it he put in this underlying moral to get his readers to think of their choices in life.

 

 
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