How does the play indicate that animalistic violence lies under a thin surface of civilization in modern society?
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The frequent mention of animals underlines a greater idea that humans have a capacity to be animalistic. Peter begins the play as a self-defined, civilized, polite, urban fellow. But through his responses to Jerry's provocations, he taps into his more aggressive tendencies and ultimately participates (however unwittingly) in a murder. By focusing on the limitations of animals, Jerry also suggests that humans have these limitations within ourselves.