Document Type : Research Paper
Writers of literary works have long used animals to promote favored morals and values. The depiction of animals in literature renders these nonhumans to social actors enhancing a narrative viewpoint that the animal itself is totally unaware of. This appropriation between humans and nonhuman behaviors is mostly achieved through anthropomorphism, the interpretation of non-human features and events in terms of human characteristics.
The relationship between humans and animals has been evolved in literature. There’s quite a variance between earlier literature and more modern works. The past few decades have witnessed a dramatic shift in the way the relationship between humans and animals is demonstrated in modern fiction. Novels that were composed during the second half of the last century frequently displayed fantastically hybrid creatures that owned such exclusive human abilities as linguistic expression and philosophical thought. This is observed in Richard Adams’ Watership Down, in which wild rabbits have not only linguistic capabilities similar to ours, but also their own culture and mythology.
As the cultural world continues distancing itself from the natural world - with the advance of technology, and environmental degradation- during the 2000s, there was an intention among authors to move beyond anthropomorphism and imagine the animal standing for itself, without representing or symbolizing humans. Animals were frequently compared to humans, as creatures that struggle against man. This is reflected in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide. In The Hungry Tide, Ghosh introduces the Sundarbans as a living entity, where animals stand as rivals to humans.