We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Using the Animal for Human Psychosis in Peter Shaffer’s Equus and Karen Joy Fowler’s we are all completely beside ourselves College

The usage of animals to represent the innermost dilemmas and contradictions of the human-animal mind has been a commonplace practice since the tradition of storytelling. Despite the seemingly revolutionary implications that accompany the realization of a deeply submerged truth about humanity, the various impacts it carries towards the animal itself can be both detrimental and inaccurate. These assumptions are based off of what humans delegate to be truthful, becoming merely relative to the human-animal’s inherent desire to personify animal tributes for their own usage and justification. This can be seen in works that explore the human mind and what differentiates ‘normality’ from ‘abnormality’ in the eyes of society. Specifically, within Peter Shaffer’s 1977 play, Equus, the usage of the animal to explicate the inner psychological workings of the human-animal is employed to further the psychoanalytic compulsions of the main characters, Martin Dysart and Alan Strang. Although these two individuals differ vastly in their backgrounds and status in society, they come to represent a mindset and belief system that juxtaposes the common religion of the “God normal” through the abuse and manipulation of the animals for their own...

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