Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Getting Close to Animals with Alice Walker's The Temple of My Familiar

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Society & Animals

This article offers an analysis of Alice Walker's novel The Temple of My Familiar. It critiques the claim that humans' ability to use language, regarded in this article as equivalent to one sense of the word representation, marks the essential difference of humans from animals. The argument has two stages. The first claims that the novel offers a way to bridge this supposed fundamental difference in order that representation, in a second sense of speaking or advocating for animals, can effectively occur. Importantly, the context of this is Walker's anti-oppressive politics of race and gender. It analyzes the portrayal of characters who understand their lives, the past, and their relationships with nonhuman animals by creating myths and stories, rather than via conventional written history. The second stage of the argument shows that this essentially creative understanding of worldviews other than the "norm" of western culture transcends the distance that language is said to insinuate between humans and animals. Creative, imaginative understanding allows humans to get close to animals.

"Can one speak of the animal? Can one approach the animal?" (Derrida, 1997, p. 271)


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Society & Animals — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation