By Susan Nance

The concept that of 'modernity' is valuable to many disciplines, yet what's modernity to animals? Susan Nance solutions this query via an intensive reinterpretation of the lifetime of Jumbo the elephant. within the Eighteen Eighties, shoppers, the media, zoos, circuses and taxidermists, and (unknowingly) Jumbo himself, reworked the elephant from an orphan of the worldwide ivory exchange and zoo captive right into a distracting overseas superstar. voters on continents imaged Jumbo as a sentient person and puppy, yet have been aghast whilst he died in an commercial coincidence and his is still have been absorbed by means of the taxidermic and animal rendering industries reserved for nameless animals. The case of Jumbo uncovered the 'human drawback' of contemporary residing, in which humans celebrated person animals to manage or distract themselves from the wholesale slaughter of animals required via sleek consumerism.

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Extra info for Animal Modernity: Jumbo the Elephant and the Human Dilemma

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Y. Henry Morgan’s elephant ran close to the poles, throwing him in the way of the other racing elephant, who, stepping on him broke his leg. William Hicks, jockey, was thrown from his horse and broke his breast bone. 13 Life and labor in a traveling circus was exhausting and dangerous, for people and animals.

The unfamiliar street waked in Jumbo’s breast the timidity which is so marked a feature of elephant character. He trumpeted with alarm, turned to re-enter the Gardens, and, finding the gate closed, laid down on the pavement. His cries of fright sounded to the uninitiated like cries of grief, and quickly attracted a crowd of sympathizers. 74 Barnum was delighted by the entire affair, famously telling his agent in London, “Let him lie there a week if he wants to. 76 He instantly realized that Jumbo’s behavior was generating enormous publicity that would drive audience interest in the elephant as a celebrity.

Hence, Jumbo, and all pet animals, became domesticated as knowing and equal participants in consumerism, which facilitated the elephant’s later transformation into an icon of innocent whimsy and abundance. Keywords: advertising; circuses; consumer behavior; journalism; Jumbo; Phineas T. Barnum; trade cards Nance, Susan. Animal Modernity: Jumbo the Elephant and the Human Dilemma. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 0007. 0007 Jumbo: Tourist and Consumer 41 During the London controversy, Jumbo began to transform into an icon of innocent abundance, which, in the long term, would be the elephant’s permanent legacy.

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