Tracing cruelty in Tarzan of the Apes
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This paper presents a picture of how cruel and three derivative words—cruelty, crueler, cruelly—are used within the narrative of the popular American novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This investigation is from a perspective that is devoid of journalistic or creative writing jargon. In order to determine who is cruel to whom, phrases within the novel’s narratives where a cruel term is found are cited and gathered. The explicit possessor of cruelty, or the novel’s character responsible for it (i.e., the culprit), as well as the object to whom or to which cruelty is directed to (i.e., the victim), are identified. The findings indicate that humans are crueler than the African jungle and its inhabitants. Moreover, the Whites are crueler than the Blacks. This is contrary to the idea inherent in the novel, as voiced out or acted out by its characters, that the African jungle and its inhabitants, both animals and humans, are cruel.
Siacor, M. L. P. (2019). Tracing cruelty in Tarzan of the Apes (Research report). Jaro, Iloilo City: University Research Center, Central Philippine University.
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