Despite these cultural shifts and the British scientific community's empowerment through the AAMR and its support from continental Europe, I would argue that revulsion to French experimental physiology was still to be a central part of the antivivisection crusade during this period, and the image of the French vivisector
as a bloodthirsty sadist was to remain prevalent in humane advocacy.
With his short muscular frame, low mouth, prominent ears, and hands whose long, cold fingers "betrayed enormous power, and suggested an ability to clutch and hold [much] like a marvelously developed vise" (51), Charles Bernard is almost certainly modeled after Claude Bernard, the foremost French vivisector
of his day and the chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Paris.
"I asked a question, devised some method of obtaining an answer, and got--a fresh question," the vivisector
As Coral Lansbury argues, "Women saw themselves as horses being flogged and beaten, and many saw their own condition hideously and accurately embodied in the figure of an animal bound to a table by straps with the vivisector
's knife at work on its flesh" (p.
In addition to vivisectors
such as Bernard, Victorian society also gave birth to legislation against animal cruelty, with the SPCA founded in 1824, the Vegetarian Society in 1847, and the antivivisectionist movement during the 1870s.
(Boone's father was a butcher; Boone was supposed to pursue the family business, and his nickname in the art world is "Butcher Bones.") Equally telling is the fact that both artists have damaged but disturbingly prescient siblings (Rhoda the hunchbacked rodent/rose in The Vivisector
, and Hugh the dimwitted brother in Theft) who mirror the protagonists and articulate their unquenchable consciences.
have been unable to meet my challenge to find just one patient whose life had been saved by vivisection and who would not have been saved without it.
Also, because it cannot escape the semantic shadow of 'vindictive', it evokes the idea of the vivisector
god that has been posited for much of the novel.
Indeed, as related in his wrenching journal, A Grief Observed, Lewis cannot but ask whether God might, after all, be "a cosmic sadist" or "the eternal vivisector
." Similarly, Hauerwas's contention that theodicies function to legitimate social order and inequality is confirmed in Elie Wiesel's moving narrative of his experiences at Auschwitz (Night), in which the Jewish theodicy of God testing his chosen people sanctioned passivity in the face of the Nazi atrocities.
Somerset Mangham's Of Human Bondage and Patrick White's The Vivisector
We may, perhaps, know John Davidson's poem 'The Testament of a Vivisector
' of 1901, in which the speaker vivisects a horse in order to discover the underlying principles of existence.
Testament of a Vivisector
" explains before dismembering the