The Role of Animals in McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian” and Haggard’s “She”

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Essay from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies – Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Reading (English Department), course: Colonial Explorations, language: English, abstract: British colonial adventurers commonly paid respect to the unfamiliar fauna within the vast territories of the British colonies. The more countries they explored, the more different kinds of unknown animals they encountered. Nevertheless, the role which animals played in the colonies and their relation to human beings was far more complex. There were not only the feral predators which were regarded as a threat to cattle and people. Principally, pack animals like horses or mules were more than important to make the survival of humans in these hostile environments possible. Although white men were dependent on animals, they mostly did not appreciate their amenities. A striking example was the almost extinction of the bison in the American Mid-West territories during the 19th century – especially the history of the natives is closely connected to this phenomenon. In contrast to the white men, native tribes practically valued all sorts of animals in every part of the world because they cultivated symbiotic relations (the common approach to life was living close to nature). The interrelation between landscape, animals and humans was supposed to be a complex challenge for all of them.

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