Moral Representation of Animals in Arabic and English Children’s Short Stories: A Cognitive Stylistic Approach


  • Duha Muhammad Lecturer in Linguistics, Dept. of English Language &Literature, Faculty of Arts, Benha University, Egypt


cognitive stylistics, schema theory, Schemata, mental stores or ‘packets’ of information


This paper investigates the moral representation of animals in two English and Arabic short stories from a cognitive stylistic (CS) perspective. Animal stories appear in a variety of forms, but all include one or more type of animals as the focus of the story. Authors of children literature use animal characters to convey moral ideas through analogy, ideas that would have greater impact than if child characters were presented. CS is the interface between linguistics, literary studies and cognitive science. It deals with the cognitive processes which influence text interpretation during the act of reading. It takes into account both the formal features of language and the nonlinguistic context of the readers in constructing meaning out of a text. The analysis in this paper is conducted through schema theory. The filling-in of textual gaps with one’s own cognitive knowledge is the basic premise behind schema theory. The hallmark of schema theory is that interpreting any kind of fiction relies on the reader’s background knowledge. When reading a text, readers interpret what is presented by supplying their own knowledge of the world. The analysis tackles the examination of both the thematic and technical tools that are employed by the writers of animal short stories to instill morals in the minds and cognitions of the child readers. The two short stories analyzed are; "Finding Nemo" by Andrew Stanton, and an Arabic one entitled "??????? ????? ?????" " kat?k?t? ????? mrt?n "(Katakito errs twice) by Nabil Farouk. The analysis yields the conclusion that the schema of any person, whether the writer or the child reader, is culturally and naturally affected.


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How to Cite

Muhammad, D. (2022). Moral Representation of Animals in Arabic and English Children’s Short Stories: A Cognitive Stylistic Approach. International Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 4(4), 364–384.