Honors 293                                                                                                                   
Representing Animals                                                                                                       
Dr. Morillo

Ananlysis and Application Paper Assignment: Animals, Rhetoric, and Literature

Graded, worth 15% of final grade
Length:  5 pages, inclusive of Works Cited.

Due Monday, February  6, printed out on paper, in class.

Choose any animals you find interesting., selecting one animal discussed by Aesop, one by Pliny, and one by the Medieval Bestiary. These can be the same animal or 3 diifferent ones.

Next consider how Pliny's, Aesop's, or the Bestiary's  language works to make each of these animals understandable to people: does it create an obvious fiction about them? if so, how does it do that? does it give the animal a more obviously human character? does it ask readers to form any emotional or moral judgment about the animal? is the treatment overtly literary? does it spin a plot around the animal and give it any recognizable actions or motivations? does it ask us to care about the animal for itself or as an example or symbol of something more human? what aspect of the animal does it suggest is most interesting about it (why should we care about this critter)? if it has been fictionalized, why might it have been given an unrealistic representation? to whom is this representation being offered and does that implied audience affect how the animal is represented?

Now choose whichever ONE of these questions, or one of your own devising, yields what you think are the MOST interesting answers, ones worth telling someone else about, and write a brief essay explaining your answer.

Your introduction should make clear which animals are selected, which one animal is most interesting in light of these questions. In your conclusion, consider WHY you think the animal was represented in a more fictional rather than realistic representation.

If you use any sources beyond the required syllabus texts, for example of more recent scientific animal information about any animal, useful if you are interested issues of accuracy of any one representation, give source information in a Works Cited page,  and a brief annotation of each source explaining how you decided that information was trustworthy.

MLA Citation guide for common source types:

How to cite an academic article or book chapter in MLA form for a Works Cited bibliography  :

Formula for an article:

 Last name, First Name. “ Title of Article.”  Name of Journal Italicized  Volume number. Issue number if given (year): inclusive pages. Medium.

 Thus, with the punctuation highlighted in blue:


Nickel, Terri. "Pamela as Fetish: Masculine Anxiety in Henry Fielding's Shamela and James Parry's The True Anti-Pamela." Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 22 (1992): 37-49. Print.


Note hanging indent of 2nd and subsequent lines. First line is flush left.

Note that any novel title is in italics within the quotation marks for the article title.

There is no punctuation between the journal title and the volume number.

Any works cited entry ends in a final period.


If the article is in an online periodical: replicate the complete print entry formula, but then 1) if the online version has page numbers, after the inclusive page numbers and period put the name of the hosting site, in italics (e.g. Project Muse, or JSTOR), then the word web for medium, then the date you accessed it, MLA no longer requires the full url (universal resource locator) within angle brackets <  >.




Tolson, Nancy. “Making Books Available: The Role of Early Libraries, Librarians, and Booksellers in the Promotion of African American Children’s Literature.” African American Review 32 (1998): 9-16. JSTOR. Web. 3 April 2008.


A book chapter, formula:


Author last name, First name. “Title of Chapter.” Title of Book in Italics.  Place of publication: Press, year. Inclusive pages of chapter. Medium.



Spencer, Jane. “Wit’s Mild Empire: the Rise of Women’s Writing.” The Rise of the Woman Novelist: From Aphra Behn to Jane Austen. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1986. 3-40. Print.


If it’s a collection of edited essays, after the essay title’s period put title of collection; then after title of collection put Ed. then Editor’s full name. The place of publication, press, date, inclusive pages. Medium.


Grundy, Isobel. "Against Beauty: Eighteenth-Century Fiction Writers Confront the Problem of Woman-as-Sign." ReImagining Women: Representations of Women in Culture. Ed. Shirley Neuman and Glennis Stephenson. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1993. 74-86. Print.