Monstrosity In Mark Doty's Now You Re An Animal

969 Words 4 Pages
Monstrosity isn’t always what is perceived on the outside. Becoming one with an animal, having animalistic tendencies, or an alter ego of a beast can be considered monstrous to society. In the poem “Why do you keep putting animals in your poems”, the man depicted in the poem is learning from the animals in the poem. He also realizes that the animalistic way of life is much simpler than the life of a human. In “Now You’re An Animal” by Mark Doty the professor goes into a studio to get his picture taken and walks out with an alter ego of an animal. The photographer himself can also be depicted as a monstrous when he asks the professor to take off his shirt and seems to enjoy when the professors pants come loose as well. When someone finds the …show more content…
He uses several examples of the simplicity of being an animal in his poem such as a cat purring while an elderly person dies beneath it, “Oscar the miracle cat curls up/with residents hours before they expire, converting death into/purrs for the next world.” (Larsen), to a monkey biting out of a poisonous insect and passing the insect along to the next monkey, “Capuchin monkeys will bite a millipede to release/a narcotic toxin then pass the millipede to a neighbor/as if it were a joint at a concert.” (Larsen) In “Now You’re An Animal” by Mark Doty the professor goes into a studio to get his picture taken and walks out with an alter ego of an animal. When the photographer hands him a bucket of paint and says “Now, how would you like to represent yourself?” (Doty) he is caught off guard but willing to comply. In stanza five he begins to transform into the monster and is quite pleased with the experience.
And I said, I've always wanted antlers, and began to paint high on the big page black reindeer horns, in thick strokes, the paint dripping nicely, and when I finished I could stand beneath them and the serious, branching architecture seemed to spring from my head.
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(Doty) Right in front of the photographer, he turns into his alter ego like a werewolf in the night of a full moon. He is naked, vulnerable, and monstrous. He is not a monster in reality but he finds the monster inside himself and is able to express it while the photography is capturing it on film. In “Now You’re An Animal” the photographer himself can be depicted as a monster. He hints at wanting the professor to take off his clothing. “He said, Take off your shirt, /and I did, and he said, Now you're an animal”. (Doty) The photographer seemed to be in the heat of the moment wanting more and more taken off. The professor was surprised by the photographer’s reaction when he unbuttoned his pants, but continued to take off his clothing, “I ripped open the buttons of my jeans/so as to be a lustful beast, and he cried, /Yes, that’s it! And though it was a joke/still I was seized by a sort of heat;.”

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