Advanced

Human identity: an analysis of human self-identification by observing the other in Doris Lessing's On Cats

Sotto, Caroline LU (2015) ENGK01 20151
English Studies
Abstract
The focus of this essay is the process of human self-identification in the human-cat relationship as narrated in On Cats by Doris Lessing. The concept of ‘narrative’, understood in the sense that it assigns meaning by connecting events and experiences, has allowed for an analysis of the meaningful connections in the interaction between the two species. By employing the philosophical term of ‘the Other’ and determining that the cat is the Other, it has been possible to conclude that the meaning assigned to the actions of the human towards the cat is that of responsibility for the inferior creature. The human is thus a moral agent, the moral faculty being the crucial trait of human identity separating the human from the animal, which can... (More)
The focus of this essay is the process of human self-identification in the human-cat relationship as narrated in On Cats by Doris Lessing. The concept of ‘narrative’, understood in the sense that it assigns meaning by connecting events and experiences, has allowed for an analysis of the meaningful connections in the interaction between the two species. By employing the philosophical term of ‘the Other’ and determining that the cat is the Other, it has been possible to conclude that the meaning assigned to the actions of the human towards the cat is that of responsibility for the inferior creature. The human is thus a moral agent, the moral faculty being the crucial trait of human identity separating the human from the animal, which can only abide by its nature. The cat belongs to the category of ‘Nature’ and the human to the category of ‘Civilization’. In this essay it has also been shown that the human, in order to preserve Civilization, kills the cat and thus mitigates the intrusion of Nature on the level of comfort that the human associates with Civilization. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Sotto, Caroline LU
supervisor
organization
course
ENGK01 20151
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
language
English
id
5473738
date added to LUP
2015-07-06 13:29:13
date last changed
2015-07-06 13:29:13
@misc{5473738,
  abstract     = {The focus of this essay is the process of human self-identification in the human-cat relationship as narrated in On Cats by Doris Lessing. The concept of ‘narrative’, understood in the sense that it assigns meaning by connecting events and experiences, has allowed for an analysis of the meaningful connections in the interaction between the two species. By employing the philosophical term of ‘the Other’ and determining that the cat is the Other, it has been possible to conclude that the meaning assigned to the actions of the human towards the cat is that of responsibility for the inferior creature. The human is thus a moral agent, the moral faculty being the crucial trait of human identity separating the human from the animal, which can only abide by its nature. The cat belongs to the category of ‘Nature’ and the human to the category of ‘Civilization’. In this essay it has also been shown that the human, in order to preserve Civilization, kills the cat and thus mitigates the intrusion of Nature on the level of comfort that the human associates with Civilization.},
  author       = {Sotto, Caroline},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Human identity: an analysis of human self-identification by observing the other in Doris Lessing's On Cats},
  year         = {2015},
}