«The life that lurks in the unknown …» Cover Image

«La vie qui se cache dans l’inconnu…»
«The life that lurks in the unknown …»

Octave Mirbeau’s Animals

Author(s): Anita Staroń
Subject(s): Studies of Literature, French Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: animals; cruelty; anthropomorphization; hyperbolization; autonomy; Octave Mirbeau
Summary/Abstract: Mirbeau’s writings constantly show his deep and surprisingly modern interest in the world of nature, his respect for its often brutal force and his desire to preserve it from dangers of civilization. His pessimistic view of mankind as stupid, cruel and ignorant results in him portraying animals as embodiment of wisdom, tenderness and love. After a brief classification of roles animals play in Mirbeau’s works, the rhetorical figures he uses to influence the reader’s point of view will be succinctly analyzed. However, by using hyperbolization, anthropomorphization, or mystification for his animal portraits, is Mirbeau sacrificing his understanding of nature for the sake of argumentation? The relations between human beings and animals, as it results from his writings, will thus form the final part of the present study.

  • Page Range: 137-147
  • Page Count: 11
  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Language: French