Macavity the Mystery Cat
His poetry is simultaneously most original, experimental as well as classical. Macavity: The Mystery Cat’ was published in Eliot’s collection of lighter verse, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939.
The reference in this poem to the Foreign Office, the Admiralty, and the Secret Service suggests the background of the Second World War The poem, it seems, must have been composed during the early second World War Year.
T.S. Eliot Macavity the Mystery Cat Analysis
It is a pure comic verse with satiric overtones. The satire enshrined in the poem is aimed. perhaps, at the hypocrisy and villainy of the human life, The cat Macavity has been humanized in toto.
Indeed the portrait of the Mystery cat presented in the poem is very nearly a self-portrait of the artist, Eliot himself. In any case, this portrait is a human portrait. The felony has human suggestions Satirically speaking, the cat is powerful and respectable in spite of all its villainy and depravity.
So are human beings or only human beings. Animals are not credited with the vice of duplicity. Eliot in this comic poem does exactly that Ile paints the man’s portrait in the shape of a fiendish cat, and yet this poem is a favorite piece for the kids who do not so much bother about the human and the animal tributes.
In fact, this poem is a pure comic poem in spite of its satirical intention. The poem has deliberately been written in a humorous vein and time.
The refrain “Macavity’s not there !” adds to the humorous effect. According to Eliot, Macavity is a Mystery Cat, a Napoleon of crime whom even the Police Headquarters of London, the Scotland yard is never able even to nab.
Macavity the Mystery Cat summary
He can defy even Newton’s law of gravitation by jumping high in the air. He is a ginger cat, tall and thin with a high-domed head, sunken eyes, and a deeply lined brow.
Curiously enough, there is a striking likeness between Macavity’s and Eliot’s looks. The cat, moreover, is outwardly respectable, but she is a master criminal, a history-sheeter, a monster of depravity. The poet says-
To sum up, this poem is written in a mock-heroic vein. The form of the poem is fully suited to its comical content. It is characteristic of the basically serious philosophical poem in both treatment, temper, and tone unmistakenly distinct from other satirical or humorous poems in English literature.