By Derek Ryan
From caged orangutans to roasted pig, from puppy education to horse phobias, from speaking bees to ruminating cows, Derek Ryan explores how animals are encountered in theoretical discourse. throughout 4 thematically organised chapters on 'Animals as Humans', 'Animal Ontology', 'Animal lifestyles' and 'Animal Ethics' he deals prolonged discussions of Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Deleuze, Singer, Nussbaum, Adams and Haraway between others, in addition to vigorous readings of up to date literary texts by means of Carter, Coetzee, Auster and Foer. meant as a source for researchers, scholars, lecturers and all these attracted to human-animal relationships, Animal idea: A serious Introduction offers an available and authoritative account of the demanding situations and capability in considering and with animals.
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Additional resources for Animal Theory: A Critical Introduction
But at the same time Freud’s view that humanity has nonetheless managed to ‘increase its control over nature’ through ‘extraordinary advances’ in science means that we shouldn’t have ‘hostility to civilization’ or see civilisation as an ‘enemy’ (30–1; 60). He therefore claims an ‘impartiality’ which allows him to both consider criticisms of the aims of civilisation ‘without bridling’ and ‘refrain from the enthusiastic prejudice that sees our civilization as the most precious thing we possess or can acquire’ (105).
Lizzie would allow no more’ (389). When the feline protagonist appears, from a psychoanalytic perspective this tiger would act as a human substitute: either for the mother, where it could be seen as part of a ‘blissful pre-oedipal encounter, echoing the union between mother and child beyond the reach of the father and the paternal law’ (Müller-Wood 2004: 290); or alternatively for the father (the tiger’s tail is, after all, ‘thick as her father’s forearm’ ). The tiger may even point to the daughter’s desires for her father in a kind of neo-Freudian ‘Electra complex’, the girl’s version of the Oedipus complex.
On discovering this ‘Lizzie went down to inspect the instrument of destruction. She picked it up and weighed it in her hand’ (378). We never read of Lizzie using the hatchet, but the implication is that the tyrannical combination of patriarchal rule and this violence against the pigeons was too much for her to take. Lizzie appears to feel an alliance with these animals. In ‘Lizzie’s Tiger’, animals are more prominent still. Carter returns to the four-year-old Lizzie in a move that might initially seem to be about seeking explanations for her adult actions in her childhood development.