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Equality in the Animal Kingdom: Human Beings and Animals Negotiating Their Relationship in the P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins Books


  • Carmen-Georgiana Zaharia

Summary, in English

Pets, instruments, a source of food, objects of wonder - animals are still considered inferior beings because of their inability to speak. Animal rights philosophers, such as Peter Singer, focus on the capacity of animals to suffer, in order that animals are given more rights. However, the animals in the Mary Poppins books fight for their own rights, some of them having the capacity to speak. The focus of my essay is the animal subject and the ways in which the animals in the books are able to demand their own rights, undermining human authority and possession. For my research, I used several stories from four of the Mary Poppins volumes, and using literary analysis, I underline the ways in which animals are portrayed as individuals rather than stereotypes. As individuals with their own desires and needs, they engage into conversations with human characters and question, or even dismiss human society.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Mette Sjölin