The Animal Eye and Refugee Vulnerability in Wajdi Mouawad’s Anima



Parole chiave:

Animality; Trauma; Memory; Vulnerability; Performing Arts; Diaspora


Anima, by Lebanese-born Canadian-raised author Wajdi Mouawad, is a road novel that takes the reader through different locations on the North American continent in order to explore the darkest side of humankind. This approach will focus on the provocative narrative technique used by Mouawad, filtered through the eyes of a significant number of animals and insects, in order to consider the different representations of vulnerability that articulate the text. In the novel, animals and insects are not only the narrators but also fundamental characters. As this analysis will show, their vulnerability represents the uncertainty of fate in contemporary society, being in the hands of those apparently superior creatures that decide when they can live and when they have to die. As an example of a vulnerable text, Anima relies on the theatricality of this animal Greek chorus to represent the need for humans to undergo a process of animalization. The protagonist, Wahhch Debch, reaches a stage of symbiosis with his animal side that allows him to transcend his vulnerability as a child refugee and as an adult who lost his wife, and this new sense of animal self serves him as an empowering element to break ties with his past.

Biografie autore

María Alonso Alonso, University of Santiago de Compostela

Dr María Alonso Alonso is the author of four monographs and more than other forty publications that explore issues related to memory and identity. She was the director of the “Narratives of the New Diasporas” project, at the University of Vigo, and she also collaborates with the “The Animal Trope” project, at the University of Santiago de Compostela

Gabriela Rivera Rodríguez, Sistema Nacional de Investigadores: Montevideo, UY

Dr Gabriela Rivera Rodríguez has presented papers at national and international conferences, in addition to publishing articles and book chapters where she analyzes, from a literary-theatrical perspective, the political content and the use of humor in the Uruguayan carnival of the last decades.

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Come citare

Alonso Alonso, María, e Gabriela Rivera Rodríguez. 2021. «The Animal Eye and Refugee Vulnerability in Wajdi Mouawad’s Anima». Altre Modernità, n. 26 (novembre):114-26.



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