Animals in Literature Criticism: Animals In European Literature - Essay

Kenneth Inniss (essay date 1971)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Animals in Fiction,” in D. H. Lawrence's Bestiary: A Study of His Use of Animal Trope and Symbol, Mouton, 1971, pp. 108-88.

[In the following essay, Inniss surveys animals in the fiction of D. H. Lawrence.]


If we examine Lawrence's major fiction for its use of the animal rhetoric and symbolism we have been describing, the following things become apparent: even before Lawrence began, in 1912, to issue statements of doctrine from Italy, we can find in his fiction some hints of the future bestiary. Secondly, the degree to which Lawrence uses animals as emblems and analogues of human states and...

(The entire section is 30145 words.)

Catharine Savage Brosman (essay date 1977)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Sartre's Nature: Animal Images in La Nausée,” in Symposium, Vol. 31, Summer, 1977, pp. 107-25.

[In the following essay, Brosman argues that the animals in Jean-Paul Sartre's novel La Nausée are intended to represent the worst in human nature.]

Although a number of scholars have noted the presence in Jean-Paul Sartre's fiction of images of insects and crabs, the role of numerous other animal images in La Nausée and their psychological and philosophical suggestiveness have not been fully explored.1 In the present essay I shall be concerned to study these in relation to its thematics and to draw some conclusions concerning...

(The entire section is 9487 words.)

Robert F. Fleissner (essay date 1985)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Is Gregor Samsa a Bed Bug? Kafka and Dickens Revisited,” in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 22, No. 2, Spring, 1985, pp. 225-28.

[In the following essay, Fleissner examines the literary origins of the insect in Franz Kafka's “The Metamorphosis.”]

The title of this essay is manifestly facetious, for my donnée is that the pathetic speaker in Kafka's “The Metamorphosis” actually has no specific identity, but still can be classified validly as a “bed bug.” His “formulation” as an insect is metaphoric, and, if he can be interpreted denotatively at all, he may best be thought of as a generic byproduct of the confluence of Kant, Dickens,...

(The entire section is 1710 words.)