J. M. Coetzee's novels pay equal ethical attention to human and nonhuman animal suffering. By addressing ethical issues about animals through the medium of fiction, Coetzee responds to and investigates both the actual and discursive exploitation of nonhumans. This essay looks at two of Coetzee's important apartheid-period novels and shows how the author uses various literary methods to posit an ethical and ontological equality of all living creatures and to stress the shared embodiedness of humans and animals. In Coetzee's fiction, this embodiedness is often presented as the ground for equal consideration of nonhuman animals.

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