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The jungle as a metaphor of the human mind

Meidl, EM 2007 , 'The jungle as a metaphor of the human mind' , The International Journal of the Humanities, vol. 4, no. 8 , pp. 91-96 .

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Abstract: The jungle as a shifting metaphor in Urs Widmer's novel uncovers the ambiguity of human nature which can excel when civilized but can at the same time revert to savagery if the constrictions of modernity destroy empathy. During the Nazi era the anthropological past of savagery became the presence. Reverting to an earlier, more primitive form of human nature, Willy, the proto-fascist protagonist in Urs Widmer's novel physically turns black and becomes a chieftain in the Congo. The jungle is destructive, the opposite to the European enlightenment. However for the second protagonist, the
gentle-mannered Kuno whose sterile, ordered middle European nature yearns for hope and renewal, the jungle is constructive.
He too turns physically black in the jungle. Yet in an utopian fantasy he re-learns how to be free and is restored by the vitality of the iridescent jungle.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Meidl, EM
Keywords: Urs Widmer, Swiss Literature, Metaphor
Journal or Publication Title: The International Journal of the Humanities
Publisher: Common Ground Publishing
ISSN: 1447-9508
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