Animality and Children's Literature and Film (Critical by A. Ratelle

By A. Ratelle

Analyzing culturally major works of kid's tradition via a posthumanist, or animality reviews lens, Animality and kid's Literature and movie argues that Western philosophy's target to set up a concept of an solely human subjectivity is consistently countered within the very texts that ostensibly paintings to this finish.

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That is the tragedy – that all of her owners extracted her labour by force, rather than attempting to work with her. 9 Though it is Beauty’s story, and he ultimately triumphs because of his saintly patience and virtue, Ginger’s death is an injustice and an affront to all she has endured. Addressing the wrongs done to her in a context of female kinship in suffering drives a subtler form of animal rights reform, which acknowledges the interdependence of human and equine. National Velvet, as I will argue, is predicated on this interdependence, which has been largely feminized in nature.

Later, Velvet is incapable of eating her Irish stew (p. 102). At the same meal, when her young brother Donald finds a caterpillar in his greens, the prospect of the near-consumption of the creature drives Velvet to leave the table (p. 102). Similarly, Velvet cannot eat a meal of oxtail (p. 119), and the prospect of a ham sandwich prior to her big race is unthinkable (p. 223). Coupling Velvet’s aversion towards food with an especially strong aversion to animal flesh is an alternate means by which Velvet can be viewed as engaging in practices of mutual corporeality, a precondition of the companion species relationship described by Haraway, and necessary for natural horsemanship.

Country squire Hugo Meynell began breeding hounds for stamina and a keen nose for scent, capable of keeping up with foxes fleeing for their lives (Griffin p. 125). With his new canine creation, Meynell ensured that the fox provided as lively a chase as the red deer, and as much intellectual challenge as the wolf. Because the hunter was conceived as being only as noble as his quarry (Marvin 2002, p. 143), foxhunters rebranded their prey, and the lowly fox – previously envisioned as no more than a thief of eggs and raider of refuse – was raised above its previous image as vermin.

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