International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 270


The animal turn in fiction: An animal-centric analysis of a dog’s purpose and anthill

Maha Mohamed Hosny Mostafa
  • Maha Mohamed Hosny Mostafa
  • Helwan University, Eygpt
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 08 December 2014
  •  Accepted: 22 August 2015
  •  Published: 30 September 2015


Animals have held an important place in written literature for thousands of years; hence animal fiction comes to mean a fictional work where an animal plays an integral part of the story to make it complete. In most works of literature throughout the ages, animals function only in service to humans. They represent their human counterpart symbolically in order to teach lessons or correct human weakness. This tendency of moral didacticism could be exemplified in Aesop’s Fables composed around the sixth century. With the Victorian era animals become more central in the human thoughts because of Darwin’s Origin of Species. During the twentieth century especially in the later part literal and figurative animals become particularly important in gender studies and women’s literature. In these works, however, the animals do not reflect the animals in themselves, but they are used to demonstrate some aspect of humanity.  All of these texts are not animal-centric, since these texts are not interested in the animals in themselves but as subservient to the human master.

Key words: Fiction, posthumanism, ‘animal turn’, animals.