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"A Case of Murder" by "Vernon Scannel" is a poem which deals with a very unusual topic; the murder of a cat by a nine year old boy. The poet brings the poem alive by using different writing techniques e.g. line lengths

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"A Case of murder" by Vernon Scannel Critical response to literature by Gregor Baird "A Case of Murder" by "Vernon Scannel" is a poem which deals with a very unusual topic; the murder of a cat by a nine year old boy. The poet brings the poem alive by using different writing techniques e.g. line lengths, no rhyme or pattern this holds my attention more and stops the rhyme merge into one tone. He also uses writing techniques such as Repetition, Figurative language, structure & rhyme. In the poem the boy has been left with a cat in a basement flat and the cat is just sitting buzzing away. This really annoys the boy and the hatred that has gathered up in the boy. This results in the boy hitting the cat then prodding the cat then crushing the cat in between the door. In result to this the boy cries and decides to get a shovel from the cupboard under the stairs and he shovels the cat into the cupboard under the stairs. Although the cat is dead he thinks the cat is growing in the cupboard and the cupboard is going to split. ...read more.


This line tells us that the cat is fat and is often spoiled. It also tells us the tucked in paws that it is happy and cannot be bothered to show any affection to the boy this is effective because it shows us that the cat doesn't do anything and annoys the boy by sitting about. A last example of a simile is "round eyes as mad as gold" this simile is effective because its used to show that the cat is giving the boy a cold angry stare this is showing that the cat also hates the boy with a passion. Another technique that Vernon Scannel uses in the poem is metaphors "A buzzing machine of soft black stuff" this metaphor is comparing the cat to a constant buzzing machine and he is saying that the cat makes a loud and annoying noise which also annoys the boy. Another example of a metaphor is "Eyes squeezed beads of salty prayer". This is comparing tears to beads hard to get out as though he doesn't want to cry but he feels it is right to cry, not only just because he thinks it is right. ...read more.


In this poem there is very little rhyme because the poem is serious and he wants people to remember it for the story not the rhyme in most cases that is how some poets are so famous for the rhyme. Structure isn't something the poet wants to commit to in this poem. It doesn't have an order of regular size in each stanza a variety of length of lines. Unclear pattern allows us to see the change in the boy's emotions. The theme of this poem is all to do with guilt, which has been mentioned in the essay. Hate is the main emotion between boy and cat, conscience a thing, which the boy does have, power that has been swapped from cat to boy and anger which has built up in the boy. In conclusion to this critical response to literature I have 1covered the techniques in the poem, the emotions, the situation between the boy and the cat and the very unusual topic. It has been described how the poet brings the unusual poem alive for us. We have discussed the character and how he changed during the main incident and in depth about the emotion and feeling of the boy. ...read more.

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