?

What are your feelings towards "anthropomorphic works", if any?

  1. Postive, more or less

    13 vote(s)
    72.2%
  2. Negative, more or less

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  3. Neutral/Mixed

    4 vote(s)
    22.2%
  1. Oldmanofthemountain

    Oldmanofthemountain Active Member

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    Thoughts towards "anthropomorphic works"?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Oldmanofthemountain, May 19, 2021.

    For those that don't know, "anthropomorphism" pertains to sapient non human animals and objects. Or in other words, pretty much your standard "talking animals", mythological creatures, living vehicles, etc. With that out of the way, what are your thoughts towards works that pertain to sapient non human entities, if any? Any particular "anthropomorphic works" you would recommended?
     
  2. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Senior Member

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    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nihm. Watership Down. Charlotte's Webb. Dr. Doolittle. Animal Farm.
     
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  3. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Active Member

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    I always loved the Wind in the Willows and Watership Down. I really wanted to like the Redwall series (I read the first 5) but found it to be rather repetitive (and morally/ philosophically dubious).
     
  4. Lazaares

    Lazaares Senior Member

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    I tapped negative solely because of the Furry community. I know it's a personal opinion; the judgement doesn't pertain anything "old", eg, works from before the 2010s. I believe an author can make steps to clearly distance and define themselves and thus win over those of us prejudiced against that community in particular.
     
  5. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Active Member

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    I don’t know but I think most people who enjoy this literature have come nowhere near the furries
     
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  6. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Technically anthropomorphic means 'man-shaped' or human-shaped. :p :D It would refer to animals that walk upright or have some human characteristics, like certain cartoon animals.

    I think you might be looking for anthropocentric (not quite right either) or something similar?

    Edit—apparently anthropomorphic is also used to mean talking or intelligent animals. Not technically right, but then it is what it is ('morph' means 'shape'). My bad.
     
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  7. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    It technically means man-shaped, but generally it extends to characteristics, emotions and behaviours.

    As for me, I've written stories with anthropomorphism and have absolutely no problem with it. Quite a few magazines scoff at the idea. Obviously overtly sentimental and saccharine talking animals are no good, but I think it can be done well!
     
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  8. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Ok, done being grammar police!

    I love me some talking animals in children's stories or cartoons or anything fairy-tale-ish. Also for instance Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. I think he's a cybernetically enhanced raccoon with human-level intelligence but trash-panda level desire to steal shiny objects, as well as raccoon cunning and trickiness. So it makes sense even in a non-children's story to have him speaking and intelligent.

    It also would make sense in certain kinds of adult stories or films (not THOSE kind of adult films!) if there's a bit of surrealism or something, because it's quite common in dreams to get wisdom or help from animals. They represent instincts or certain animalistic traits we all have, or the voice of nature or something. And dreams, emerging from the unconscious as they do, come from the deep natural part of the mind—the part we largely lost touch with when we became modern. We definitely need to listen to those natural impulses that often run counter to our plodding, half-blind conscious minds.
     
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  9. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    Stories with anthropomorphised animals are some of the oldest and most powerful stories one can read. I think it's a real shame certain publishers show such disdain. I'm paraphrasing here, but I've seen guidelines like this: What we really, really don't want is talking animals. Don't. Just don't.
     
  10. Oldmanofthemountain

    Oldmanofthemountain Active Member

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    Yeah, that is pretty much it. Though Wikipedia page has used "anthropomorphic" to describe the characters of Pixar's Cars, though they aren't exactly animals, and their designs aren't overly humanoid (with the exceptions of the eyes and mouths).
     
  11. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Senior Member

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    I went neutral/mixed.

    On the negative side: furries. Reminds me of a time I went to a craft fair with the missus, and she took this insanely wide berth around one of the stalls. I found it queer, but then glanced and saw it bore an array of scant humanoid animal art. Still seemed like a strong reaction but w/e.

    For the positive, talking animals are a strong dive into the fantastic and/or metaphorical. My current WIP has a few anthropomorphized races in it, and they serve both purposes.

    I should note the furry fetish probably came from the more positive use of anthro animals. It seems like you can't have one without the other, due to humans' nature of kinkception.
     
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  12. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    The furry phenomenon is unfortunate. I mean, people can do what they want, but it's just not my thing. It's a bit... flamboyant? I prefer my anthropomorphised animals to be more along the lines of Fáfnir as opposed to young people dressed in cartoon/anime fox suits.
     
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  13. Hammer

    Hammer Contributor Contributor

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    If we're going to get this right - and it is a writer's forum - anthropomorphism means the attributing of human characteristics to non-human creatures or objects. "Look at the back lights on that chevy - it's always bloody frowning", or "my cat always tells me to bog off if I buy cheap cat food"

    <gets down off high horse> no idea what having sentient animals/objects/pieces of street furniture is called though

    Good examples of what you might be looking for, might be the movie Cars if you want popular culture, or Richard Adams' Watership Down if you want something more literary.
     
  14. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    Yes. That's what I said. I already said above that the word itself means man-shaped (because it does), but the use of the term in literary and other media concerns attributing human characteristics and emotion to animals (non-human animals).
     
  15. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Contributor

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    I believe that almost any character in fiction is effectively human, including: talking animals, talking trains, aliens, gods, spirits, etc. We don't have any experience with intelligent life other than humans, so we can't really write about it. When we write about aliens or talking animals, we take human attributes and map those into a different shape, maybe changing a few of the parameters to narrow things so that the animal/alien/etc represents a select subset of human attributes. For example, in Star Trek, the Kingons are like humans but they're warlike. In Animal Farm, the horse is like a human but is a really hard worker, while the pigs are cunning.

    It's a useful device. Writers using it need to be very careful that they aren't stereotyping, since the talking non-humans they're writing about will have real human corollaries.
     
  16. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    what did you find dubious about it?
     
  17. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Active Member

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    The way creatures’ worth and moral disposition could be determined by their species.
     
  18. Teladan

    Teladan On the outside looking in. Contributor

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    Anthropomorphism certainly has its downsides. In ecology/biology, you have to be... pragmatic. I don't shoot, but I imagine it's difficult to control deer numbers if all you see is Bambi.
     
  19. GraceLikePain

    GraceLikePain Senior Member

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    I don't generally care one way or the other, but I don't go out of my way to read those. Watership Down is particularly good, because the rabbits aren't so much anthropomorphic, as they are animals whose thoughts are translated intelligibly. They think like rabbits, they act like rabbits, but they get translated to english.

    In other words, if you're going to anthropomorphicize, retain the characteristics that make the animal the animal. Stuff like Wind in the Willows doesn't so much work because all the adventures could have taken place with human characters and it wouldn't have made a difference. Well, that and it's disgusting how much the other characters cater to Toad's dysfunctions, but that's not an anthropomorphic issue.
     
  20. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

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    My absolute favorite series as a kid was Guardians of Gahoole.
    I love owls because of it, now, and can identify certain kinds.
    It was the only book series my brother and i read together, so i have fond memories of it.

    He branched off and read the Silverwing series (Silverwing, Sunwing, and Firewing) about sentient bats.

    I stuck with birds and read this one book that i feel was a bit too old for me at the age i read it so i stopped reading halfway through. I do t remember the name or the author, just thay it was really dark. It was about a little robin named Kieran. The carnivorous birds against the non carnivorous birds lead by the crows and magpies who were kind of like Nazis. The owls were neutral. Well, Kieran's family is wiped out and he goes to this wise snowy owl for help, and his girlfriend (i forget her name) is on a mission of her own, and she gets brutally murdered (like the crows rip her apart, i think).
    But the darkest was how the anti hero comes to be. The crow thats chasing Kieran rapes this other bird and some time later, his son is born i to the conflicted world and then i stopped reading.

    As an adult, i kinda want to know how it ends...
     
  21. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Senior Member

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    If the robin's name is 'Kirrick' it's got to be 'One for Sorrow, Two for Joy'.
     
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  22. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

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    YES!!
    THANK YOU!!!:cheerleader:

    Lol, im pretty sure i picked it up at a used book sale while i was in middle school for like .25
    Details are fuzzy:D
     
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  23. Aceldama

    Aceldama Senior Member

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    One of my favorite books ever is the jungle book by Rudyard Kipling. Something immensely charming about a fable.
     
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  24. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

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    Riki Tiki Tavi!
     
  25. Aceldama

    Aceldama Senior Member

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    Lol yup, classic. My favorite is probably the white seal.
     
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