The Blazing World Question

My question is why did Cavendish choose to have human/animal hybrids, and people with green, scarlet, and orange complexions inhabit The Blazing World. As we discussed in class the story can be viewed as a satirical utopia, so it’s no wonder the human protagonist is immediately made Empress of this world. She seems to be satirizing the commonly held belief at the time that earth was made for man, and they held dominion over all of God’s other creations. When she enters this new world, the first hybrid inhabitants she encounters are the bear-men, who seem to act as kind of her supernatural aid.

 “yet were they so far from exercising any cruelty upon her, that rather they shewed her all civility and kindness imaginable; for she being not able to go upon the Ice, by reason of its slipperiness, they took her up in their rough arms, and carried her into their City, where instead of Houses, they had Caves under ground; and as soon as they enter’d the City, both Males and Females, young and old, flockt together to see this Lady, holding up their Paws in admiration;”

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Every creature works in harmony with one another, they receive each other with “all respect and civility” and selflessly help the protagonist. This is a world of peace and happiness, free from foreign wars and civil insurrection. If Cavendish satirized man’s belief of superiority in the world, maybe she used these characters as a device to examine our world, and chose animal hybrids as her inhabitants to say that people could never reach this level of harmony, and it can only happen in our fantasies. The animal hybrids then devote themselves to the protagonist when she’s named Empress, serving her and respecting her authority. Perhaps this is another reflection of Cavendish’s world, as a woman she would never receive this amount of respect in her society, viewed as a second-class citizen based solely on the fact that she was a woman.

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