Friday, March 28, 2008

Animals in the Madman

The animal imagery is used in the section 1, “how do you explain those dirty looks the Zhao family’s dog gave me?” I think this usage reflect paranoia because normally people do not take the looks given by the animal personally. Section 1 refers to only dog. Later, Xun alludes to animals like lion, fox, rabbit, chicken, duck, and fish.

Wolf Cub village was suffering from famine. Most of the villagers are farmers and some are clerks. Some of them are cannibals. There seems to be a connection between the name of the village and people residing in the village. Xun mentions that throughout the ancient times in Wolf Cub, people have often been eaten. There is a reference to the humans in the village, “all of it began to stare at me with hideous eyes, began to snarl and growl at me from behind bared teeth!” The description given to the people resemble a wolf.

Further in section 4, they refer to the wide open mouth of fish as the mouth of the cannibals that are hungry for human flesh. In the rest of section 4 and section 5, there is no direct reference to an animal, but people are referred to as blood hungry animals in a cannibalistic manner with words such as flesh.

Section 5 ends with “his mind was filled with plans for further cannibalism.” In section 6, Xun refers to the Zhao family’s dog as “savage as a lion, timid as a rabbit, crafty as a fox…” I think the combination of three properties of the animal resembles a Wolf. This makes sense because the name of the village is Wolf Cub, but still they refer to the animal as dog. I believe that the author is trying to compare a regular man acting as a cannibal with a dog acting as a wolf.

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