Assuming a parental role

Anthropomorphised animals do, it is true, have instant appeal but they also perform a variety of other functions. They can be:

♦ adults who behave like children

♦ children with capabilities far exceeding their actual age

♦ naughty to make a moral point

♦ a metaphor for their human counterpart.

Having your animal playing the part of a silly adult offers the young reader the opportunity to feel superior and adopt the parent role. The naughty animal can get into all sorts of scrapes from which it has to be rescued, making a moral point in the process.

Your animal character may, however, be a child. In this case, it usually has skills, commonsense and abilities far beyond its true age but because it is an animal, this appears perfectly acceptable.

Animal characters can also be used to portray frightening or threatening concepts. The most familiar examples are, perhaps, the themes used in traditional folk tales such as the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. The moral messages are always there but are more palatable when delivered by animals rather than people.

0 0

Post a comment