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The Animal/Man That Therefore I Am
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Grant Morrison’s Animal Man could be argued to worry the man/animal boundary. Using closereadings of the comics against the backdrop of Jacques Derrida’s and Martin Heidegger’stheories on the boundary between man and animal, I explore the following ideas which seemcommon in the discourses on that which separates humans from animals: intelligence vs. instinct,the human hand vs. the animal’s paw, humanity’s richness-in-world vs. animal’s poorness-inworld,and language.In Animal Man, Morrison gives voice to animal characters by giving them personalities,which seems a romanticizing of the real state of affairs. Alongside all the depicted animals, thereare many hybrid characters, which take on the characteristics of both humans and animals. Theuse of hybrid characters such as the Coyote and Animal Man problematize the boundary betweenman and animal. This study of Animal Man, most importantly, shows that the differences as wellas similarities between humans and animals are based on ideologically produced discourses, andthis includes Morrison’s own philosophy on animal rights and his activism. I argue that Morrisonboth worries the boundary between humans and animals, and keeps it operative in order to makethe reader perceive animals in more anthropocentric terms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
animal; human; Animal Man; animal rights; comics; Derrida; Heidegger; Agamben; human-animal boundary; hybridity; intelligence; language; work; rich-in-world; poor-in-world; tools; powers.
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98004OAI: diva2:682111
2013-12-20, 14:00 (English)
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2013-12-23 Last updated: 2014-01-22Bibliographically approved

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