Presentation Title

I Dream of Hobbes

Presenter Information

Kristin MaynardFollow

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

Animals, Children's Literature

Biography

Kristin Maynard is a graduate student in the Department of English.

Major

English

Advisor for this project

Nicole Lawrence

Start Date

23-4-2021 10:45 AM

Abstract

The persistence of the toy animal as a companion to humans in various media (particularly children’s books) is an interesting one spanning back to the early twentieth century with William and Nicholson’s The Velveteen Rabbit and Milne’s Winne the Pooh. These portrayals depict the animal as being living yet inanimate – as conscious stuffed toys. This depiction was not static in its development however, with the toy/imagined companion peaking with Waterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. In my essay on the Imagined and Imaginary Animal, I will pursue the idea of the development and portrayal of the toy animal as simultaneously animal and human and these pseudo-living creature’s relationships with human characters and other toys along a chronological and thematic timeline as the toy develops into a being neither real nor stuffed, autonomous nor owned, human nor animal, yet still psychologically aware and independent from the human that gives them life.

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Apr 23rd, 10:45 AM

I Dream of Hobbes

The persistence of the toy animal as a companion to humans in various media (particularly children’s books) is an interesting one spanning back to the early twentieth century with William and Nicholson’s The Velveteen Rabbit and Milne’s Winne the Pooh. These portrayals depict the animal as being living yet inanimate – as conscious stuffed toys. This depiction was not static in its development however, with the toy/imagined companion peaking with Waterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. In my essay on the Imagined and Imaginary Animal, I will pursue the idea of the development and portrayal of the toy animal as simultaneously animal and human and these pseudo-living creature’s relationships with human characters and other toys along a chronological and thematic timeline as the toy develops into a being neither real nor stuffed, autonomous nor owned, human nor animal, yet still psychologically aware and independent from the human that gives them life.