From Little Red Riding Hood , The Three Little Pigs talking animals is a common theme and motif in mythology , folklore and fairytales. But when I was young I didn’t too much care for the stories , movies , cartoons that told about talking animals. That is most of childhood though. Right. I know . But I would simply turn them off . I was interested in shows like Recess and Rug Rats and Hey Arnold. I would opt to read stories like Sleeping Beauty, Goosebumps , and Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
I would fall asleep the whole time when I was in 3rd grade and the whole class was told to read Charlotte’s Web aloud. Not that I had anything against Charlotte’s Web. It is a classic. However, I just wasn’t feeling the talking animals all that much. That’s the same feeling I had with many other titles about or with talking animals. I hated and I still kind of hate how in every Disney or princess movie there is an animal side quick . I had no interest in Bambi , the Rescuers Down Under, or Oliver &Company. And the only reason I watched All Dogs Go to Heaven as a child is because it seemed to be the only thing on weekends that would play constantly on TBS .
What is wrong with you ? You might be asking me . These are Classics .
I know. I know but they were all boring.
So you might be asking this question . If you think stories with talking animals are boring why do you write animals that talk in your novel?
Well that is a good question. A while back I had a podcast episode that talked about fantasy vs fairytales and on this podcast I talked about talking animals. There is a difference. Let me explain.
In my novel you have werewolves ; wolves who become human due to a curse and then you have a raven who talks and can shapeshift into a human . He talks while in raven form. But he (spoiler) is not really a raven . Simply a shapeshifter just like my werewolves.
Is it really a talking animal if they can shapeshift ? There is a difference.
All or most of our childhood cartoons, movies and stories with talking animals were all anthropomorphic.
Anthropomorphism gives objects or animals human characteristics to make them appear human. Anthropomorphism is supposed to make us connect more with the story if using an animal.
But my characters are not that. They are merely shapeshifters . In many fairy tales, the hero’s talking animal helper proves to be a shapeshifted human being, able to help him in its animal form.
But then there is Animism where in general it is the belief in spirits or souls, whether of humans, animals, or objects such as land features. In fiction it is reference where the souls can be considered animistic.
With some fables and stories that contain animism they also are anthropomorphism but within the context of the story, an anthropomorphized animal is not actually considered spiritual. And animism can be considered more complex with a more mythical-religious paradigm. The character is the religious figure, who is also the bridge between the spiritual world and that of the humans, say shaman, sorcerer, priest or monk.
Whereas in my work in progress novel that is exactly what I have.
I don’t use the motif for the same reason that the other authors have used it in the past. I don’t use It as a metaphor , satire or even artistic reasons.
I hope these explanations indicate the differences clearly also why I write talking animals in my novel.
If you liked this blog post and you want to see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , share . But first LET’S START A DIALOGUE
DO YOU HAVE TALKING ANIMALS IN YOUR NOVEL?
I want to know so let me know in the comments below.
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