Blog Post 6: “Wild” Literature and “the Wild” in Literature

The “Good Lion” and “Where the Wild Things Are” are both stories which portray wildness in the context of animals that are not domesticated and portray traits of savageness. For example, in “Where the Wild Things Are,” the creatures “roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.” This shows the wildness of the creatures in the fact that they are portrayed as violent and undomesticated creatures. In “The Good Lion,” the bad lions are also portrayed as wild in the description that they had “blood caked on her whiskers and he smelled her breath which was very bad because she never brushed her teeth ever.” This quote depicts the fact that the bad lions not only are savage and eat animals and people, but they are also very dirty because they do not clean themselves. The wildness of the creatures and bad lions are both seen to be very savage, violent, and dirty. 

The two stories are different in the fact that the good lion and Max react to the wild animals in different ways. In Hemingway’s short story, the good lion travels to visit Africa to find that there are a lot of other lions living there as well. However, these “bad lions,” he learns are much more savage than he is because they would drink “the blood of the Hindu traders” and “eat eight Masai cattle.” The savageness of the bad lions really scares the good lion, causing the good lion to leave and go back home. On the other hand in “Where the Wild Things Are,” Max is not scared by the creatures, but instead stares at them without blinking. Because of Max’s unwavering boldness, the creatures crown him as king of the wild things. Furthermore, Max joins the creatures in their wildness and leads a “wild rumpus” with them.  These two stories highlight two different ways to respond to “wildness.” On one hand, the good lion was scared and rejected the bad lions’ wildness whereas Max embraced the creatures and was able to join them in their wildness. 

Kristine Chin


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6 Responses to Blog Post 6: “Wild” Literature and “the Wild” in Literature

  1. sdw2623

    I like how you talk about how wildness is used to talk about uncleanliness and how it relates to being uncivilized in this context. It’s interesting that you talk about how the child Max faces the wild things and isn’t scared but such a refined LION is frightened by the lions. The child is more wild than a lion which is an interesting point.

  2. tst598

    I like that you discussed that wildness was used to describe slightly different characteristics with slightly different connotations in each story and also addressed that another way the stories differ is how each protagonist reacts to said wildness. That second part is an important distinction to keep in mind because the story centralizes the protagonist’s perspective and their differing responses to wildness can tell us more about the message of each text. Thank you for sharing.

  3. ts36942

    I never read the stories in the way that you did. Its pretty cool to see the way that you interpreted wildness in both of these works. The ending where you say that the good lion rejected the wildness while Max embraces it is pretty cool. Although, I am a bit skeptical on the good lion bit. It doesnt seem like he fully rejects the wildness as when he comes home he wants to try some meat at Harry’s bar.

  4. aew2976

    I like how you start by explaining how “The Good Lion” and “Where the Wild Things Are” are similar and then split to talk about how they portray wildness differently. I loved your comparison of the ends- Max embracing wildness while the Good Lion rejects it. I found your blog post particularly interesting- Great job!

  5. arr4257

    I really enjoy the direct comparisons between the two stories and what makes them wild, as well as the contrasts of how they differ in their wildness. Your commentary is very inciteful and well developed. I especially like your commentary that the two stories highlight how the civil main characters reacted to the wildness of the other creatures.

  6. njp768

    I really like how you compared both stories and their connotations that were given. The way the author shows “wildness” in each story is completely different from the other. In both of these short stories the main character portrays “wild” contrasting. The wild is shown as something very calm as Max enjoys the company of the creatures, whereas the in the other story is deemed “wild” for a more intimidated tone. Great job!

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