Revealing The Animal Victim: A Study of Human-Animal Representations in Selected Absurd Plays
Past research has neglected victimized animals in representation and focused on the humans projected through their portrayal. This qualitative study re-examined animal representations in the Absurd theatre to expose their illustrated oppression. Uniting ideas of animal rights with principles of Absurd Theatre, the study was a textual analysis on Waiting for Godot (1953), The Zoo Story (1959), and The Story of the Man Who Turned into a Dog (1957). The research observed how human-centrism created in combining man and animal delivers visibility and agency to the oppressed through language and behaviour. Levels of identification created with human-animals were recognized to feature exploitation by generating sympathy. The common ground created between the human-animal and the deteriorated man of the Absurd Theatre further contributed to the animal victim’s visibility and recognition. The importance of erasing hierarchical barriers and recognizing their history of victimization were highlighted in the conclusion.