"The Naming of Cats" is a famous poem in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Please help analyze it.

"The Naming of Cats" personifies cats, assigning them a human level interiority. By doing this, it argues that both cats and humans have a three-level psyche: first, the social self, second, the intimate self known only to close friends, and finally, the private self, known only to oneself. Each is associated with a different name. The poem uses a light-hearted, whimsical tone to celebrate the concept of interiority.

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In this poem, T.S. Eliot personifies the cat, then uses that personification to assert that humans have a three-level psyche.

To personify is to give an animal or inanimate object human traits. Eliot does so by giving cats a level of introspection or self-awareness that is usually reserved for humans. He asserts that cats have three identities, each one associated with a different name they possess. The first is the public, social identity communicated by the cat's official name. Cats, like humans, have a name assigned at birth, and many cats, like many humans, share the same name. Eliot identifies some common cat names as exactly the same as human names: "Peter, Alonzo, Augustus, or James." Some are "fancier," like "Plato" or "Electra," but they are nevertheless part of a shared heritage of common names.

Beneath that, cats have names that are unique to themselves. This name speaks to the particular cat and is never shared by another cat. It is the name by which the cat is known in his or...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 800 words.)

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