John Soderberg
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Animals make the man
Violence, masculinity, and the colonial project in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
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A central project of colonial encounters is establishing and maintaining clear boundaries between intrusive and indigenous populations. While delineating boundaries is, in part, a means of securing a superior identity for colonizers, these boundaries also attempt to mask the violence of colonialism. This chapter uses animals as a point of entry into the contradictions that creep into the imaginative space created by the text and illustrations of John Derricke’s Image. It begins with a review of the effort to create a clear boundary between English and Irish populations by showing their different engagements with animals. But, implicit in this animals-make-the-man strategy is the threat of disorder. Interacting with the wrong species in the wrong way can make the man wrong. Illustrating the violence of conquest blurs boundaries. In these moments, the metaphorical associations with animals grow recalcitrant. Artfully constructed boundaries give way to a violent and confusing muddle.

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