By Susan Nance
The idea that of 'modernity' is principal to many disciplines, yet what's modernity to animals? Susan Nance solutions this question via a thorough reinterpretation of the lifetime of Jumbo the elephant. within the Eighteen Eighties, shoppers, the media, zoos, circuses and taxidermists, and (unknowingly) Jumbo himself, remodeled the elephant from an orphan of the worldwide ivory exchange and zoo captive right into a distracting foreign superstar. electorate on continents imaged Jumbo as a sentient person and puppy, yet have been aghast whilst he died in an business twist of fate 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 trouble' of contemporary dwelling, in which humans celebrated person animals to manage or distract themselves from the wholesale slaughter of animals required via glossy consumerism.
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Additional info for Animal Modernity: Jumbo the Elephant and the Human Dilemma
5 Nance, Entertaining Elephants, 146–48, 212. 6 Lustig, “ ‘Seeing the Elephant’,” 113. See also Ritvo, Animal Estate, 232–33. 7 Barnum used this phrasing with some regularity, including in his autobiography and a letter he wrote to the Daily Telegraph of London to explain why he would not retract his offer to sell Jumbo. The letter was widely reprinted in the press. P. T. Barnum to Lesarge, Daily Telegraph, February 21, 1882 reprinted in, for instance, “ ‘Jumbo’ and Barnum,” Reynold’s Newspaper, February 26, 1882.
55 That is, animals were deemed incapable of dissimulation and, in part, this idea had won over many of Jumbo’s fans, even before his sale to Barnum. The transformation of Jumbo from orphan of the wild animal trade into janus-faced zoo pet seems to have happened quite organically, although, since Scott and Bartlett were known to disagree about Jumbo’s future, there had always been tension at the zoo about who had the right to shape Jumbo’s behavior and to what end. Jumbo’s improvised saddle for carrying riders, the occasions of being broken (beaten) behind the scenes, his understanding that if he stayed calm people would feed him, and LZS officials’ work to hide his rages from the public created the idea of Jumbo as a zoo pet.
Philadelphia, Pa. Arrived 10 o’clock Sunday morning. The special car built for Jumbo could not stand the strain of his enormous weight and the running gear gave way on arrival. This was repaired during the week. Monday, May 22nd. Y. Scott, Jumbo’s keeper, returned to the show cured of the injuries inflicted on him by Jumbo accidentally pressing him against the side of his car. Saturday, June 17th. Boston, Ma. Saturday being Bunker Hill day, ... m. in the pond at Boston common. 0007 Jumbo: Tourist and Consumer 45 Wednesday, August 2nd.