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Anthropomorphism in the Work of Beatrix Potter - Essay Example

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The paper "Anthropomorphism in the Work of Beatrix Potter" discusses and unpacks the main ideas of Dunn’s thesis, which are then used to explore Beatrix Potter’s work. The author of this essay highlights the characters of the stories of Potter, comparing her with other children's authors…
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Anthropomorphism in the Work of Beatrix Potter
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Download file to see previous pages Authors and poets frequently use talking animals in children's books. When a person buys them he/she can almost expect this classical use of anthropomorphism. Animals of all shapes and sizes make it to these poems. This type of anthropomorphism does not reveal itself only through making animals talk like humans; four-legged animals walking on two, playing music, preparing food, and living in huts, are the classical traits of animal anthropomorphism in children's stories.
Beatrix Potter stands out among the authors of children's stories. Her technique of anthropomorphism is different. She portrays the realistic lives of animals. She carves her characters and the respective story targeting specifically children's psychology. The characters and their dialogues are not emotionally overwhelming. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) was Potters's first book. She adorns the animals with human clothes in it. But she doesn't start the story portraying rabbits having human characteristics.
Potter does not suddenly take the child away from the real-life, she builds a bridge between reality and fantasy. At the beginning of her first book, she portrays rabbits in their usual demeanor. They are regular animals living in the woods. But then she paints the fantasy in the next scene when the mother rabbit is dressing her children. A little nugget of reality always stays in the story; not all animals wear human clothes.
Beatrix Potter probably plays down the anthropomorphism to prevent animals from becoming too human. On the contrary, Kenneth Grahame, the author of The Wind in the Willows (1908), uses an extreme form of anthropomorphism. The animals in his stories change the size and break the imaginary barrier between human beings and the animal kingdom. The character of a toad in Graham’s story wears a wig and combs his hair. Potter, on the other hand, is content with only dressing animals in human clothes and making them walk on two, Graham’s style takes a step further. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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