Beware the Cat

Topics: Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Church, Cat Pages: 2 (698 words) Published: June 6, 2013
Cat Essay 2

In Beware the Cat, William Baldwin's immediate target is Catholicism. This book is one of many anti-catholic satires that appeared during Edward VI's Protestant reign. In this story Baldwin goes beyond putting down the practices of the Church of Rome and exposes some of its foundational problems. He portrays, satirically, how knowledge is obtained and passed down in the church. At this time the culture was going through a transition from a largely oral and visual way of communicating to one based on text. The whole idea of Protestantism is about having a personal relationship with God and not relying on someone else to read the Bible for you. But what about those that didn't have access to a Bible? Again, people were left to rely on the church and the traditions that were being passed down. The trouble with traditions is that after so long, one can't be certain of their origin. We see a debate being set up in the story about where true authoritative knowledge comes from. From the Protestant view, the trouble with that is these traditions and stories can and do mislead the devout christian. In the beginning of the book in The Argument, Streamer disagrees with the author on what makes up knowledge; whether it is gained by experiences or authors (the reading of textual evidence).

In Streamer's Oration we see that he gets off track a number of times as he tries to begin his story. We find him wandering from gate to gate, talking about about how the gates got their names. It is evident that he doesn't quite know where or how to begin his story. The use of the word gate is exceptional because Streamer is truly searching for an entrance for his story line. Because he can't seem to find it, it foreshadows the fact that Streamer's knowledge, as we come to find out, really has no origin of its own. Baldwin uses another play on words with the word Criplegate and cripple, foreshadowing again that Streamer's kind of reasoning has crippled...
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