What Does It Mean To Be Human

759 Words4 Pages
In many instances dogs are considered man’s best friend. Certain canines live life pampered: traveling in expensive bags and eating out of golden bowls. Regardless of how well treated these creatures are, they will always be considered lower on the totem pole than humans. What we don’t realize is that many aspects of our nature, human nature, are not only human; animals share the same impulses. There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties.... We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention and curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes a well-developed condition, in the lower animals. (Charles Darwin) Disgrace, a novel by J.M. Coetzee, dogs to represent humans in society. The characters in the novel are compared to these creatures to represent the suffering, shame, and disgrace of certain individuals in our society.…show more content…
When we are introduced to Petrus, an overly ambitious farm worker, he introduces himself as the “dog-man” (Coetzee P. 64). He uses dog to describe himself, to put himself down, and to make himself inferior. At that point in the novel he is living in a shack on Lucy’s land. As the story progresses, he builds a house. Once Petrus finishes and increase his social status he comments that he is “not anymore the dog-man” (Coetzee P. 129); indicating that he has moved up the totem pole and is no longer associated with the likes of
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