37 min

What's in a Name? The Soul of an Animal Animalogy \ The Animals in Our Everyday Words & Phrases

    • Books

In a pivotal scene in David Lynch’s film, The Elephant Man, the main character turns on those who are cruelly taunting him and declares “I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I...am...a man.” The crowd disperses. Ever since the first time I saw this movie, I’ve had the same reaction. As a sympathetic viewer, I’m relieved that Merrick decries his abusers, but in making a claim for the dignity he deserves as a man, the implication is that the abuse would be acceptable if he were “an animal.” And yet, human and non-human, we are all animals. We are all made of the same stuff, evident even in the word “animal,” whose root word means “soul.”
Supporters make this podcast possible, and they receive written transcripts of each and every episode.

In a pivotal scene in David Lynch’s film, The Elephant Man, the main character turns on those who are cruelly taunting him and declares “I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I...am...a man.” The crowd disperses. Ever since the first time I saw this movie, I’ve had the same reaction. As a sympathetic viewer, I’m relieved that Merrick decries his abusers, but in making a claim for the dignity he deserves as a man, the implication is that the abuse would be acceptable if he were “an animal.” And yet, human and non-human, we are all animals. We are all made of the same stuff, evident even in the word “animal,” whose root word means “soul.”
Supporters make this podcast possible, and they receive written transcripts of each and every episode.

37 min

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