Beautiful Joe has such low self-esteem, and I wonder what the child reader made/makes of that? The young reader especially is supposed to pick up on the unfair treatment of animals at the same time inhabit the animal’s physical and mental spaces…How would a human child caring for a broken dog better better achieve this? … “Get them to do something for somebody outside themselves…” (though Mrs. Morris, for all her goodness, still calls animals “dumb creatures”…Could the story that Mrs. Morris tells Mrs. Montague in chapter 5 been a better story…? Do humans see themselves better? At least for me, I was more interested when Mrs. Morris said, though patronizingly: “We are all brothers and sisters.”
“…naturally that some one should be inspired to write a book to interpret the life of a dog to the humane feeling of the world.” “speaks for the whole animal kingdom” “progressive system of education” “kindness to animals principles of growth of philanthropy..” there is a richness of ideas here expressed. Which one of these are still relevant to this day? Which books in the past 20 years best express these ideas?
I am really interested in “parallel ways in which literary text construct pet and child subjectivity” (p.24 in pdf-Intro/Feuerstein). How do we examine and assign value to those subjectivities? It would seem that a you’d need to study not alone child psychology and animal behavior, but also perform behavioral studies…? And can all this capture the “subversions.” What can we learn from these “subversions”?