Analyzing The Classical Panchatantra Stories From A Postmodern Perspective: Deconstructing Fabulist Anthropomorphism

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Sakshi Kaushik , Dr. Aditi Bharadwaj


Literature reflects humanity and provides the readers a rich window into human experiences as well as a profound insight into human nature. Literature acts as a prism through which society is reflected while also serving as a lighthouse that inspires the people to uphold virtues with a progressive mindset in order to bring about constructive social reformation in society. Literature has influenced civilizations, altered political systems, and revealed injustice through potent narratives that address the most pressing social issues and expose grave societal reality that eventually calls for a thought provoking and critical comprehension of the social evils prevailing in society making essential judgments and amendments required in order for the civilization to evolve gradually. The study of literature is a rewarding and enlightening experience that promotes sustainable worldviews and enables one to make a valuable contribution to society. To move beyond a reductive human-centrism, an alternative reading of critically reflective literary and philosophical perspectives is needed. Placing too much attention on the human sphere has raised worries that it is failing to adequately examine the non-human world, its agencies, and human kingship with it. An eco-critical inquiry into the use of anthropomorphism as a literary technique for instructing, motivating, and amusing young readers is required in order to perhaps pave the way for fresh approaches to environmental literary scholarship. The 'discourse of man' is centrally constructed on the animal preaching voices in fable tales, which is reduced to the status of an anthropomorphic taming, a moralizing subjugation, and domestication. The study intends to dissect the term ‘anthropomorphism and all of its varied ramifications for the seemingly fixed binary oppositions of ‘human’ and ‘animal.’ literary sustainability offers a theoretical practice arguing for the use of a deconstructive approach in understanding the fabulous animal through a reversible and subversive system of binary opposition instead of a rigid hierarchical structure. The violent construction of a human versus non-human animal identity is evidenced by text’s deconstruction of anthropocentric, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic self-other dialectics. The dualistic presumptions that pit humans against all other species are rooted in the conflating of the term’s ‘animal’ and ‘natural’, and ‘human’ with ‘cultural/ social’. This dualism distorts how people perceive the non-human animal as a mere ‘referent’ by elevating humans to the status of ‘mind’ with social intelligence possessing cognitive competencies while relegating all other animals to the biological confines of the natural world. The hegemonic discourses of knowledge on non-human animals must emphasize the need for a modern fable theory that offers fresh perspectives on how to think about other animals fairly and legitimizes their subject positions in the context of eco-critical concerns for a better future and demands for a paradigm shift from ego- awareness to eco-consciousness, a transition that vividly embodies the harmony in diversity concept of coexistence.

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