A Study of the Animal Image in Jack London’s ShORt StORies毕业论文_英语毕业论文

A Study of the Animal Image in Jack London’s ShORt StORies毕业论文

2021-04-07更新

摘 要

杰克·伦敦是美国的短篇小说家, 《野性的呼唤》 、《白牙》和《群岛猎犬杰瑞》 是杰克·伦敦的三部狗的小说,本文正是从杰克·伦敦的三篇动物小说出发,从三部小说中主人公的动物形象入手,逐一分析了小说中动物形象所具备的生命意识。杰克·伦敦更是将自己的感受诉诸于对人类社会的控诉,将动物作为叙事视角让我们更加深刻感受到人类社会的残忍与不幸。本文更是从动物伦理的角度去探索作者对人类社会的深刻反思。

关键词:杰克·伦敦,野性的呼唤,白牙,群岛猎犬杰瑞,动物形象

Contents

1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………….1

2. Demonstration………………………………………………………………………………………………2

2.1 Buck as a wild image…………………………………………………………………………………..2

2.1.1 Buck’s fight against the evil forces……………………………………………………………..3

2.1.2 Buck’s wolfness in the wolf pack………………………………………………………………..5

2.2 White Fang as a docile image………………………………………………………………………..5

2.2.1 White Fang’s dependence on human beings…………………………………………………6

2.2.2 White Fang’s compliance to master…………………………………………………………….6

2.2.3 White Fang’s amicable relationship with other dogs……………………………………..7

2.3 Jerry as an obedient image……………………………………………………………………………7

2.3.1 Jerry’s loyalty to different masters………………………………………………………………7

2.3.2 Jerry’s flexible attitude toward Negroes………………………………………………………8

2.3.3 Jerry’s subordination to external environment……………………………………………..8

3. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………..9

Works Cited…………………………………………………………………………………………………..10

Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………………………………..11

A Study of the Animal Images in Jack London’s

Short Stories

  1. Introduction

Jack London (1876~1916) is one of the greatest American novelists in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Many of his works are very popular among readers both in the United States of America and abroad. Jack London is a very well-known writer of his time and has been regarded as “ the guy of writing dog’s story” by many readers. His obsession with wolves haunted London’s life. London used Wolf in the title of two books: The Son of the Wolf (1900) and The Sea Wolf (1904). Today London’s fame still centers on a handful of his dog stories. Among all his four dog stories, two of his Northern Tales win Jack London worldwide reputation. They are The Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906). “The Call of the Wild may be summed up simply by saying that it is the best book that Jack London has ever written.” (Lundquist 101) This novel blends his experiences in the Canadian wilderness with his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence. Jack London also wrote many other excellent works, for example, The People of the Abyss (1903), The Iron Heel (1908), Martin Eden (1909), etc.

London focuses on a sense of survival, naturalism and animal image. In Jack London’s age, people suffered from the Civil War, so they had to fight for survival. Jack London once said that he wished to return to the wilderness to forget human sufferings and social problems to seek spiritual freedom and ideal home. Therefore, London resorts to literary means to show his preference of wilderness because he is fond of simplicity and real meaning of life there. What’s more, animal images are depicted vividly in some of London’s works. He uses animal characters to reveal his thoughts on wilderness and civilization. London took animals as a narrative perspective to insinuate the human society together with his own feelings.

The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Jerry of the Islands are Jack London’s three stories about dogs. In these three novels, London suggests that the relationship between human beings and animals depend on the people’s attitudes towards animals. For the stick method of human beings, three characters to be discussed in this thesis have respect and fear. London wants to indicate that when human beings treat animals sincerely, what they are rewarded is animals’ loyalty, obedience and dependence. As for the above mentioned three novels, the literary circle has different opinions on Jack London’s dog stories. Some critics think that Jack London’s stories belong to children’s literature category, such as The Call of the Wild and Jerry of the Islands, while some critics study the animal image in Jack London’s stories through rhetorical device.

My thesis will focus on analyzing the animal image in three of Jack London’s novels–The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Jerry of the Islands from the perspective of animal ethics so as to explore the writer’s profound reflection on human society. This thesis will be divided into three parts. The first chapter talks about Buck as a wild image, including Buck’s fight against the evil forces and his wolfness in the wolf pack. The second chapter discusses White Fang as a docile image, including White Fang’s dependence on human beings, his compliance to master and his amicable relationship with other dogs. The third chapter argues about Jerry as an obedient image, including Jerry’s loyalty to different masters, his flexible attitude towards Negroes and his subordination to external environment. From these three stories, we can vividly learn about animal image in Jack London’s dog stories. And from these stories, we can explore Jack London’s profound reflection on human society.

  1. Demonstration

2.1 Buck as a wild image

The Call of the Wild narrates a dog named Buck, the dog-hero of the story, living at Judge Miller’s place in “the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley” in California. (London, The Call of the Wild, 1) He lives a comfortable life with Judge Miller, but it comes to an end when men discover gold in the Klondike region of Canada and a great demand arose for strong dogs to pull sleds. Buck is kidnapped by a gardener. Buck’s life is hard then. He works on pulling sleds with other dogs. Faced with the harsh living environment, he constantly adapts to the nasty environment and becomes stronger. At last, he returns to nature and becomes a leading wolf. Buck’s toughness and wolfness in the nasty environment shape him as a wild image. Although this novel writes about the dog, in fact it argues about human beings. This novel insinuates the human society by writing about the animal society.

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