Rethinking the Sacrificial Role of Nonhuman Animals In â€˜Maheshâ€™ And â€˜Kalapaharâ€™.
anthropocentric, non-human, human-animal relationship, Humanities, speciesism
Keywords:anthropocentric, non-human, human-animal relationship, Humanities, speciesism
Human beings spend their lives by not merely making kith and kin within their own species. They often seek to the meaningful company of some non-humans, be it flora and fauna. This companionship always proves to be purposeful-- sometimes to serve humanâ€™s own need, sometimes to serve the purpose of both human and nonhuman. They are emotionally and spiritually involved with the human-protagonists but the main problem is that by the end of these texts, animals have to go out of the literary scene for certain reasons. Animals conjure the texts to be a â€œbetter storyâ€ but their important contributions are denied to human acceptance. In a way, the texts link our attributes to animals with the ways in which our earlier narratives have dealt with animals by relegating them to the background of human lives or reading them as mere allegories. Is this anthropocentric attitude of human beings as well as author of the texts acceptable in order to neglect or even reject the presence of nonhuman animals in human lives? Is this kind of presentation of nonhuman characters is a hindrance to the prospect of Humanities in broader perspectives? The present paper intends to take up issues like this for detailed consideration in the light of the question of representation and its rationale through these two poignant short-stories of Bengali literature, Kalapahar[i] by Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay and Mahesh[ii] by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.