Baleia, de Graciliano Ramos: uma meditação sobre a vida sensível do animal

  • Fernanda Coutinho Universidade Federal do Ceará
Keywords: Human, sensibility, speciesism, Vidas secas, Brazilian novel


In this essay, I examine the status of Baleia, the family dog in Graciliano Ramos’s Vidas secas (1938). My principal interest is to analyse the attenuation of distances and the differentiation of sensibility between humans and animals in the novel. I argue that Baleia allows Ramos to leave aside an absolute belief in human reasoning and think of the nonhuman animal as a being endowed with complexity. In this, Ramos deviates from a speciesist appreciation of history and sharpens the gaze of his readers with respect to the limitations of our understanding of the world and its beings.

Author Biography

Fernanda Coutinho, Universidade Federal do Ceará
Professora do Curso de Letras da Universidade Federal do Ceará. Doutora em Letras pela Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, com tese sobre a obra de Graciliano Ramos. Realizou estágio pós-doutoral, enfocando o mesmo escritor, na Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais e na Université de La Sorbonne-Paris IV.