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Adlai E. Stevenson’s rejection on the foolish notion of Senate Bill No.93, the “Cat Bill,” is declared through deliberate literary facets, meant to belittle and warn the senators to pay more attention to their actions, and literary allusions to .
Stevenson cleverly mocks the lunacy of the “Cat Bill” with keywords that purposefully manipulate the reader’s view. The double entendre of the word “nature” leads the reader to regard the archetype of cats. The nature of an animal is something that is fixed and can’t be changed. The nature of cats is compared to humans in terms of “unescorted roaming” and the reluctancy of being leashed. Animals are not domestic by nature’s law and if “we attempt to resolve it by legislation who knows but we may be called upon to take sides.” His statement, respectful and sarcastic, guides the reader with legal precedent. It would be irrationally to solve nature’s problems with human laws. Stevenson’s purpose for using “nature” emphasize the foolishness in punishing an animal for its intrinsic characterization and also the foolishness in having creature pursue human morals. Stevenson uses his diction to also belittle the bill and ensure that his Senators do not waste his time ever again.
The literary allusions elaborate Adlai’s intelligence in his satire. He alludes to the struggles “as old as time” such as the war between “cats and dogs.” This childish argument provides a negative connotation on the “Cat Bill.” Stevenson continues to play with the language as he concludes that it is “not because I love birds the less or cats the more.” This Shakespearean allusion to the famous play “Julius Caesar” serves as a humorous note in context and meaning. It follows the first allusion where Stevenson addresses his Senate, “To the honorable…” just as Brutus did. Stevenson, like Antony, uses satire to discredit his opponents view. Antony repeats Brutus is an honorable man in order to cause doubt in the citizen’s’ minds. As Stevenson continues, he discredits his Senate and reveals how foolish they are to think that they were almighty when a bill such as Senate Bill No.39 has reached and gone as far as it did. The purpose is to have his Senate acknowledge the nonsense that they had gone along with.
Stevenson’s intelligence and mastery of the language allows his disapproval for Senate Bill No.39 to be taken respectfully. His satire and literary knowledge effectively reasons out the ludicrous nonsense in the proposal.
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