Essay Feral Child

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Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki’s works remains as the perfect alternative to the ultra-conservative, uni-cultural notions of Disney fairy tales.

In 1997, the anime master wrote and directed Princess Mononoke, which is set in the medieval Japan and intertwined with supernatural, fantasy elements.

The central character Mononoke is raised by the Wolf God Moro.

She plays an important role in the complex struggle between forest gods and the humans who indifferently ravage the forest resources.

It’s fascinating to witness the slow ‘domestication’ of (supposedly) feral kids, brought up with limited or no access to human world; nurtured by nature.

Maybe, because at some level they represent the struggles we often face while entering into different (social/cultural) domains that inexorably keep us excluded, albeit in a much broader and painful scale.

Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 children’s story The Jungle Book told the enchanting tale of Mowgli, raised by wolves, a panther, and a bear in the Indian jungle.

Later, Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912 created another archetypal ‘feral child’ character (raised in African jungles) in his Tarzan of the Apes.

The perennial dramas in the lives of wild children also give us a closer understanding of the gifts that makes us human, which we more or less take for granted..

As the thinkers of the age weighed in the drawbacks and useful functions of human civilization, the idea of primitive human race existing in harmony with idealized nature gained more traction.


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