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					      Tonzona Rashid
Assignment 1: ENG 646
Contents
 Objective
 Figure of Speech
 ‘Macavity: The Mystery Cat’
 Explanations
 Metaphor
 Simile
 Personification
 Hyperbole
 Reference
Objective
Different Figures of Speech will be explained in this
lesson using a poem called ‘Macavity: The Mystery Cat’
by T. S. Eliot. The readers will learn to make associations
with the central figure using their imagination through
figures of speech.
At first we shall learn the definition of Figure of Speech
and then we shall read the poem for examples of
different types of Figures of Speech.

 Contents
Figure of Speech
According to Morner and Rausch (2005), “Figures of
speech are expressions, such as METAPHORS, SIMILES,
PERSONIFICATIONS, HYPERBOLES that make
comparisons or associations meant to be taken
imaginatively rather than literally” (p. 84).
Now we shall see some examples of figures of speech in
the poem ‘Macavity: The Mystery Cat’ by T. S. Eliot.


 Contents     Objective
Macavity: The Mystery Cat
                                                         T. S. Eliot
Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw –
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare.
And when you reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air –
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!
 Contents          Objective
Continued

Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;
You wold know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought his head is highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;

And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.
Macavity, macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square –
But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s.
  Contents
Continued

And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,
Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair –
Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Macavity’s not there!

And when the Foreign Office finds a Treaty’s gone astray,
Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,
There may be a scrap of paper in the hall on the stair –
But it’s useless to investigate – Macavity’s not there!
And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
“It must have been Macavity!” – but he’s a mile away.
You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs,
Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

  Contents
Continued

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity
He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
At whatever time the deed took place – MACAVITY WASN’T THERE!
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!




  Contents
Explanations
 For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law = a
  personification where the notorious cat is compared with a
  master criminal
 He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair
  = metaphors where the cat is compared with bafflement and
  despair
 he breaks the law of gravity. His powers of levitation would make
  a fakir stare = Hyperbole where agility of the cat is exaggerated as
  a violation of the law of gravity which surprises even a fakir
  (magician)
 He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake
  = a simile where the way he sways his is compared with the
  zigzag course of a snake
 Contents
Explanations continued

 he’s a fiend in feline shape = a metaphor where the cat is
  compared with a devil
 a monster of depravity = a hyperbole where the mischief of the
  are compared with those of a monster
 They say he cheats at cards = a personification; as if the cat can
  cheat at cards like the humans do
 engaged in doing complicated long division sums = a hyperbole;
  when the cat is in a composed mood it is busy doing sums like an
  intelligent person
 He the Cat who all the time Just controls their operations = a
  personification where the cat is assumed to have human-like
  capacity of controlling others’ activities
 the Napoleon of Crime = a metaphor where the cat is compared
  with Napoleon for its unconquerable skills.
  Contents
Metaphor
An implied analogy in which one thing is imaginatively
compared to or identified with another, dissimilar thing.
In a metaphor, the qualities of something are ascribed to
something else, qualities that it ordinarily does not
possess.




 Contents    Figure of Speech   Explanation
Simile
A figure of speech that uses like, as, or as if to compare
two essentially different objects, actions, or attributes
that share some aspect of similarity. In contrast to a
Metaphor, in which a comparison is implied, a simile
expresses a comparison directly.




 Contents    Figure of Speech   Explanation
Personification
A figure of speech in which human characteristics and
sensibilities are attributed to animals, plants, inanimate
objects, natural forces, or abstract ideas.




 Contents    Figure of Speech   Explanation
Hyperbole
Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses an exaggerated
or extravagant statement to create a strong emotional
response.




 Contents    Figure of Speech   Explanation
Reference
Morner, K., & Rausch, R. (2005). NTC’s dictionary of
literary terms: The comprehensive, easy-to-understand
reference to critical and literary terms. New Delhi: NTC
Publishing Group.




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