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

The Good Lion by Ernest Hemingway and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak both present wildness in their stories but use it to send different messages. In Where the Wild Things Are, wildness is used to describe a world with beasts that have sharp teeth and claws that live in nature. The Good Lion uses wildness to present the contrast between the uncivilized and civilized. Though, both of the stories use wild to describe the behavior of a person or folk characters. 

In Where the Wild Things Are, wildness is used to describe the world that has creatures with claws and scary teeth. The world is away from any kind of civilization and the child protagonist is there living without any rules and can behave in any way he wants. He likes to make mischief and is called a wild thing by his mother. “And when he came to the place where the wild things are they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth…till Max said ‘Be Still’ and tamed them with the magic trick…and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all”. The child is considered the most wild among wild untamed creatures. The word “wild” and “terrible” are repeated throughout the story which show how untamed the beasts are and how despite that, the child is still the most wild. 

In The Good Lion, wildness describes how the African lions behave in comparison to the good lion. “But the good lion would sit and fold his wings back and ask politely if he might have a 

Negroni or an Americano and he always drank that instead of the blood of the Hindu traders”. In the story the good lion only eats refined and civilized food in comparison to blood and meat that the African Lions eat. The Good Lion compares how the good lion is much more civilized than the African lions but does so in a way that looks down upon the wildness of them. ““Yes, father,” said the good lion and he flew down lightly and walked to Harry’s Bar on 

his own four paws.” In Africa, the good lion flies above the African lions as though he were too good to walk among them, but when he is back home he walks to the bar and does not fly above everyone else. 

-Stephanie Wilhite


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

  1. aga2544

    I, too, thought that both stories represented the definition of “wild” in different ways. I was interested in your interpretation of the “wild” for Sendak’s piece. I can see your point that Max and the creatures are “wild” because of their actions. I also agree with the stance that Hemingway’s story defines “wild” as uncivilized. In the case of Hemingway’s story, he plays into the fact that the “good lion” is good because of his civilized manner compared to the other lions. Overall, I think you did a good analysis of the stories!

  2. kia326

    I like your response about the word “wild” in Where the Wild Things Are, it is very descriptive and incorporates the quotations well. However, I think you could’ve expanded on your explanation in the second part about The Good Lion. It seems as if it is way more abrupt than the previous analysis and the quotations could be sandwiched better with more introduction/analysis afterwards.

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