Friday, May 29, 2015
She Unnames Them
In the beginning of the quarter we read Ursula LeGuin's "She Unnames Them" and discussed many different creation stories, which describe the beginning of human and animal interactions and relationships. "She Unnames Them" is a rewrite of the story Genesis. This rewrite is about Eve, who develops a relationship with the animals on Earth. She realizes that all of the animals have names, but the names were chosen by Adam and she also realizes that her own name was given to her by Adam. In an attempt to become closer to the animals, she decides to abandon her name and unnames all of the animals. What she realized is that after all of the animals were unnamed, she felt closer to them. There was a sense of understanding and a stronger connection because they all seemed to be on the same level, no one above or below the other. This story brings up an interesting topic about human and animal relationships. It seems in the beginning of the story Adam and Eve had domain over the animals. Humans had animals like cats and dogs as pets and owned sheep and cows. Eve did not want this type of relationship with the animals though, she wanted them to be her equal, which is why she abandoned the concept of names. This shows that even from the beginning of time, humans have put themselves above animals, believing that animals were made for their own benefits. In "She Unnames Them," LeGuin is pointing out that animals should be considered our equals. This relates to the topic we have discussed in class which is animal rights. A pressing issue is should animals hold the same rights as humans and why or why not? Animals were not made for humans anymore than humans were made for animals. The communication barrier between humans and animals has caused humans to use that as a reason to put themselves above animals and make reasons as to why people are superior.