Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Why animals? Why now?

This write-up got published in "Thinklet" online journal, issued by Jain University, in the May 2017 Issue.

Animals have had the greatest share of space on this planet. They were here even before our species came into being. It is unfortunate to see man becoming the center of all and the ecology highly imbalanced. 

When studying about the different representations of animals in different texts written by different writers, the one question that always crops up is: "Why look at animals now?" It appears to be a straightforward question until one makes a sincere attempt to learn the latent meaning. 

"Everywhere animals disappear. In zoos they constitute the living monument to their own disappearance." - John Berger

Anthropomorphism has been integral in the building of the relationship between humans and animals. The need for man to be in the center has created a barren space where animals are gradually disappearing form their spheres, and in this new solitude, anthropomorphism makes man doubly uneasy. Animals now are made commercially available in the form of toys and artifacts, and this commercialization carries different symbolic representations (often stereotyped) which are affecting the human-animal relationship.

Most of the literary works have used and still use animals as tropes; they are primarily used as part of the setting, and Ecocriticism, one of the emerging literary theories, is concerned with this. The real animals are marginalized, and bringing them to the critical center is indeed the need of the hour.

2 comments:

Arun said...

Good insight and thoughts. I read a piece about lion and its behavior in India compared to lions in Africa. Humans due to various reasons are forgetting joy of living together with other species. Various stories of hunters, naturalists, conservationists I am sure remains stories.

Suhasini Srihari said...

True, one should indeed realize that man is not above all but amongst all.

Post a Comment

I would love to hear from you! Do leave a comment!