Many people think that they are superior to animals. People think they are real masters of all animals. Nonetheless, many thinkers, writers, poets, artists and even ordinary people know that this assumption is absolutely incorrect.
People cannot be superior as they are simply tiny elements in the Universe. Italian authors Leopardi, Calvino, Morante and Pirandello considered this issue in their works. These authors claimed that animals had to endure lots of violent actions. People use animals for their needs. However, this cannot be right.
The authors stress superiority of animals which are perfect creatures living in accordance with the rules of the universe. The present paper dwells upon the authors’ standpoints concerning the relationships between animals and people. The present paper focuses on the authors’ ideas that animals, being superior creatures, have to endure a lot of sorrows caused by people, though some exceptions still exist.
For instance, Elsa Morante (1912-1985) portrays people’s attitude towards animals in her works. This author lived in the twentieth century. This was the time when people thought there could be no limits for humanity: people landed on the Moon, people created sophisticated machines. Of course, many still think that people are superior to animals. Nevertheless, many understand that those discoveries mean nothing and they do not give any right to harm animals.
Many people understand that animals are equal to people. For instance, Morante describes such kind of relationships in her novel stressing that a man believes that his dog is a member of his family (489). In fact, such relationships are not rare. Animals are always helpful and supportive and, fortunately, many people can see that.
Nevertheless, some people take advantage of animals’ supportiveness, loyalty and trust. For instance, Luici Pirandello (1867-1936) describes such kind of relationships in his works. Pirandello was a modernist who lived during a very different historical period.
Essentially, fascism existed in a very specific historical period. Born in Sicily he lived and studied in Germany. He wrote lots of short stories and few novels but he is most famous for the plays, modernist view of identity is his focus (relativism). He also believed that human identity was always in motion because time changed people.
According to him although the imitation of nature should be simple and “nude”, he agrees that it should also be complete. He depicts everything in a great detail in his very special way. Thus, he depicts people’s intentions to take advantage of animals. For instance, he describes a man who tries to earn money making animals (birds and an old she-donkey) suffer (Pirandello 60).
However, the man is punished for his cruelty. The saint comes to save little creatures of God. Interestingly, the saint is talking about saving the man’s soul as well: freeing birds means salvation for the man. However, the man is not ready to understand that animals should be respected. Pirandello considers this in one short story “The Bat”. Here Pirandello proves that people can never ‘enslave’ animals totally (“The Bat” 27).
Thus, the bat does not follow the director’s instructions. Though the director wanted to use the animal, the animal proved its superiority. It is possible to state that Pirandello makes it clear that animals follow their own laws and convention which are out of people’s reach.
This idea was suggested by Italo Calvino (1923-1985). He was a post-modernist who fought against the Nazi. He later became a classic of new realist literature and he wrote about his experience. He chose new books that could be published. He won a lot of literary awards and he was very optimists about the future of Italy in 1956. And he started writing fantastic novels. He gave Italians something else than war to think about.
In many ways, Calvino’s visual poetic brings together his interests in visual arts and literature, in human and the natural sciences. As far as the relationships between people and animals are concerned, Calvino articulates the idea that animals follow some universal laws. The author stresses that everything is perfect in nature (Calvino 21).
However, he also tries to draw the line between human society and animals. Notably, he draws parallels between people’s behavior and animals’ actions. The author stresses that all those actions cannot be understood by people as the latter are not aware of basic conventions of the nature (Calvino 21).
This author does not make some major assumptions on the nature of the relationships between people and animals. It is possible to state that he simply observes the life. Notably, he notices that there is some order in the world of animals. The author argues that human society lacks such an order. Though, it is important to note that the author does not focus on superiority of animals (or people). It seems it is not important for the author. He simply strives for harmony in relationships between people and animals.
However, it is possible to claim that Giacomo Leopardi (1789-1837) is the greatest supporter of the idea that animals are superior to people. The author yearns for freedom. He could not move freely and that was the reason why he loved birds so much. These creatures have the power of vision and hearing and they can see everything from above. Admittedly, birds have always been compared with angels and good spirits. This is an archetypal believe. It is but natural that Leopardi articulates these ideas.
Apart from this, he reckons that birds’ singing is better than human laughter (Leopardi 357). He also states that animals are joyful in all their operations and they can move freely (Leopardi 353). The relationship between people and animals is central in his writings. A description of living beings as shapes, even when painted in color, is not as effective in capturing life as a description of them in action.
The relationship between nature and human beings and their groupings into societies raise a number of questions relevant to individual and social happiness, the subject of innumerable treaties during the Enlightenment, and Leopardi’s pivotal concerns. He believed that human life is a form of anguish – and yet leads to anguish because one’s potentially infinite desire for pleasure is bound to remain unsatisfied.
If human life is unhappy, why do people care to perpetuate it? Why are there human beings in the cosmos? What are they there for? One of the strengths of Leopardi’s poetry is that the personal and private becomes comprehensible to people in all its significance and force. That is a quality of the best lyric poetry, a quality also found in Leopardi’s letters.
Perhaps, the main obstacle for readers who look for common ground between Leopardi and their own experience is not just the pessimism or the intensity of introspection.
It is the claim that his view of life is true. In his writings he asserts that there is no way that human beings are able to know the ultimate nature of the universe. Leopardi throws down a challenge to his readers with which they continue to find it hard to come to terms. He uses his own life as a type of general truth, suggesting that the history of his reader’ lives would, in essentials, look no different.
To sum up, the Italian authors claim that the relationships between people and animals have always been really difficult. The authors state that people have always tried to be masters. The authors depict people’s desire to take advantage of animals and nature. These authors describe different instances of relationships between people and animals.
Fortunately, there are some cases when people think that animals are equal to them. The authors also claim that animals live in accordance with their own conventions which cannot be understood by people. More so, the writers stress that animals are perfect creatures as they manage to live in harmony with nature.
Calvino, Italo. Mr. Palomar. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 1986. Print.
Leopardi, Giacomo. Essays and Dialogues. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983. Print.
Morante, Elsa. History: A Novel. South Royalton: Zoland Books, 2000. Print.
Pirandello, Luigi. “The Bat”. Modern Italian Short Stories. Ed. Marc Slonim. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954. Print.
“Set the Fire to the Straw”. Tales of Suicide: A Selection from Luigi Pirandello’s Short Stories for a Year. Ed. Giovanni R. Bussino. New York: Branden Books, 1988. Print.