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The Naming Of Cats Analysis



Author: poem of T.S. Eliot Type: poem Views: 13


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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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




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i think the naming of cats means that a person has a special name to identify themselves

| Posted on 2014-03-06 | by a guest


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The first name is the ordinary names, the second name is the fancier names, the third name is a singular, peculiar, particular and more dignified name

| Posted on 2013-07-21 | by a guest


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Because of the timing of this poem, it clearly makes reference to an antithesis of Hitler\'s attempts to destroy the individuality of the minorities he fought against.

| Posted on 2013-06-07 | by a guest


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The poem expresses the relationship of name to identity. We all receive nicknames but we still have our given names. This poem also reflects that the first name is the way other people see you, the second is the identity you show other people and the third is your true self who only you really know. The cat is a metaphor for humans. The poem has a rhyme scheme, it keeps it going like a song. The poet also uses many other techniques.

| Posted on 2013-04-21 | by a guest


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Each of the cat\'s three names is important, just in different ways. It is very important to have an identity that the world knows you by. For example, your co-workers. Ms. Harper the Math Teacher, or Jim the store manager. The second name is the thing about you that you display proudly within your circle of friends. Like the cat\'s \"perpendicular\" tail, it\'s the things about you that you display proudly to the world. Ms. Harper may be a Math teacher, but she\'s *really* proud of her blue-ribbon pecan pies and having a solo in the church choir. Those are things that make her \"tail perpendicular\". Of course, the third name is a secret that only the individual cat knows. Of course, the first and second name *influence* how a person...er, cat, thinks of themselves, but the third name represents the *core* of their being. Ms. Harper is a teacher, a piemaker, and a church singer, but only she remembers the time when she was 7 and Billy Jenkins ripped her dress so that her underwear showed, humiliating her and making her distrustful of boys and men from that point on. Oh, other people may know the facts of the story, but only she knows how it made her feel and the burning of the deep-seated shame that is the reason she subtly mocks and belittles every man in her life. That *feeling* is a syllable in her third name, which, along with other syllables both positive and negative - and some both - account for who she is.
Either that, or the First, Second, and Third names represent the Superego, Ego, and Id, respectively.

| Posted on 2012-10-11 | by a guest


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The first name is simply a general view someone who knows you as an acquaintance would have of you, a few vague ideas about you. The second name is how people closer to you ,like friends and family, see you, lots of details about you. The third name is your own view of yourself and is only known by you because only you know your every thought, feeling, and memory. You could tell others some of these, but still would leave out some of it and not be able to completely explain other bits. Thus no one views you as you see yourself.

| Posted on 2012-01-15 | by a guest


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The poem reflects the relationship of name to identity. Do we become the sum of our various public and private names?

| Posted on 2011-11-16 | by a guest


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ok is this means that the second name can be a name that describes a cat

| Posted on 2011-11-14 | by a guest


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I think the first name is the way other people portray you/ see you, the second is the identity you show other people/ choose for yourself, and the third is your true self who only you really know

| Posted on 2011-01-13 | by a guest


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Why should the cat be the only one who knows the third name? Does Eliot give any mere suggestion or even hint as to this ellusive identity? Although alluring I\'m sure, I find it curious that throughout the entire series of peoms, nobody ever uncovers this name despite it being written from the perspective of the cat (in the musical)...

| Posted on 2010-10-21 | by a guest


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Noticed the word \"nine\" in the middle as in; cats have nine lives? Just a thought

| Posted on 2010-07-31 | by a guest


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The rhythming keeps the poem going just like a song.
Another technique used would be the capitalisation in the fourth line, it makes it seem louder too and in a different tone in cooperating many techniques.

| Posted on 2010-05-11 | by a guest


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easy explanation for this but in literature book in school they have weird questions that make no sense.. and i think ppl should have a lot of names to not only what others call them.

| Posted on 2010-05-04 | by a guest


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The cat is a metaphor for humans, while the names of the cat are a metaphor for our identity. Elliot explains that first cats have a name that humans call them. Metaphorically, this represents our identity in society. It can be our race, nationality, or social class. Next, the “cats” have the name that other cats call them. This is a metaphor for how we are seen in our community or among groups of friends or family. It is how those around us see us individually. Finally, there is the name that cats have for themselves. This is the most important name. This is how we see ourselves

| Posted on 2009-12-06 | by a guest


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Well, basically, cats have three names. The first one is the name we humans call them, and has little purpose. The second is the name that cats use among themselves. It is a name that must be absolutely unique, because it defines the cat. The third is a name that only the cat knows. When a cat is in a quiet meditation, it is because the cat is thinking on the though of his name.

| Posted on 2009-11-12 | by a guest




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