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Literary BioethicsAnimality, Disability, and the Human$
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Maren Tova Linett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479801268

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479801268.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 17 January 2022

Beast Lives

Beast Lives

Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau

Chapter:
(p.31) 1 Beast Lives
Source:
Literary Bioethics
Author(s):

Maren Tova Linett

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479801268.003.0002

Chapter 1 combines animal studies and disability studies to explore the complicated negotiation with human exceptionalism woven within H. G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896). It argues that the novel’s critique of human exceptionalism founders on what disability studies scholar Alison Kafer has called the “curative imaginary”—a view that seeks perfection in human beings, or as I apply it to the case of Wells’s scientist, in animals. The chapter reads Wells’s Moreau as a proto-transhumanist, seeking not just to turn animals into human beings, but to transform human beings, to purge our animality in an effort make us “perfectly rational creatures.”

Keywords:   H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau, animality, vivisection, disability, human exceptionalism, curative imaginary, Alison Kafer

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