Animal Imagery in Literature

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Pages 7 (1757 words)
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For ages, association between human and the animal world has been used in many literary works. Cutting across the barriers of centuries, in both Timothy Findley's fiction The Wars and William Shakespeare's immortal play King Lear, such association prevails to depict the humane qualities of the animal world (The Wars) or the beastly greed and the insatiable hunger of human beings (King Lear).


The protagonist Robert Ross is strongly associated with animals, revealing many similarities between human beings and animals. Even if Findley believes that there is no difference between a human and an animal, he asserts that only human species are pointlessly cruel. While he runs with the little coyote, Robert watches coyote spotting two small ground squirrels and that it "didn't even come down off its toes. And when it came to the place where the gophers had been sitting, neither did it pause to scuffle the burrows or even sniff them" (The Wars, 26), stressing that animals kill only when it is needed. Humans, in contrast, kill unnecessarily. A young German soldier gives Robert a chance to flee death, which he accepts. Yet, when the German all of a sudden take off, a scared Robert shoots him only to understand later that he has made a blunder. Quite the opposite happens in King Lear. At the beginning of the play, Goneril (the eldest daughter) and Regan obey their Father King Lear's request demanding their unflinching love for him. Goneril says that she loves him
Yet, once they have received their share of property and riches from their father, their behavior towards him changes. ...
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