The Brutality of Man, The Art of Animals

We have discussed the “flatness” of the characters in this novel during class quite often. What we have been unable to pinpoint, however, is what appears to be the reasoning for these flat characters.

I note the animalistic qualities of man throughout the novel. Firstly, the RedBlacks. These men are the perfect animal. Unthinking, unfeeling, and brutal. When one (the Tutor) is not, he is the outcast. The perfect RedBlack is a violent pawn. The perfect RedBlack would be considered perfectly animalistic in his movements.

Then, we may look at the other characters and their “construction.” Morgan’s flatness, for example, transforms him in a one dimensional character. They are all “cliches,” some greater than others. But what does this do? Are humans not expected to have depth, purpose, and understanding? So – what then, happens when they don’t hold these (or don’t appear to hold these) innate human qualities? Are they human any longer?

Animals, however, the birds, more precisely, are pieces of art. They love, they sacrifice, and they create entertainment and artworks that the people in the novel do not do. The birds follow Morgan to their death and do so without question. They feel an affection toward him that others in the novel do not feel to other humans. The birds are, arguably, the only place in the novel where a love occurs. A love not based on pretense, and instead, a love so human that the animals have become more like man than man.

 

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