Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Literary Qualities

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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.

Like other Eliot poems these are filled with allusions, but here the allusions are to familiar rhythms rather than to literary works. Throughout his life Eliot wrote nonsense verse, and he was influenced not only by the...

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This section contains 234 words
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Buy the Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Study Guide
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