Questions of Species and Gender
Coleridge’s prose writings about animals differed markedly from his poetic depictions of them, partly because his increasing moral preoccupations took him away from the close empathising with the life in nature characteristic of earlier years. Whereas the three poems that prominently feature animals or birds – To a Young Ass, Its Mother Being Tethered Nearby’; ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’; and ’Christabel’ – depict them as victims of oppressive or unthinking actions (even if also as related in various ways to ‘Christian souls’), the prose writings concentrate increasingly on the distance or gap between human beings and animated nature.
KeywordsMoral Sense Sensual Impulse Notebook Entry Animated Nature Prose Writing
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