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Jelliffe, S.E. Brink, L. (1917). The Role of Animals in the Unconscious, with some Remarks on Theriomorphic Symbolism as Seen in Ovid. Psychoanal. Rev., 4(3):253-271.

(1917). Psychoanalytic Review, 4(3):253-271

The Role of Animals in the Unconscious, with some Remarks on Theriomorphic Symbolism as Seen in Ovid

Smith Ely Jelliffe, M.D. and Louise Brink, A.B.

There is no one who would not admit the obvious and commonplace fact that animals play a conspicuous part in the life of man, nor would any one fail to attribute to them a distinct place in human psychology. An explanation of this on the basis of historical evolution would also be apparent to every one who takes into account man's developmental relationship with his environment. The dawn of human history was signalized by the rise of man to an intellectual consciousness which separated him from the animal world to which he had belonged. Beasts were closely akin to him. They remained that part of creation from which he had just emerged in his intellectual discovery of'himself, which constituted the epochal crisis of his existence. They were still present, reminders of the state he had left, objects also of fear and terror. Very slowly man learned to subject them to his control and service. Some few he discovered developed a capacity for companionship, a relationship which must have made a peculiarly intimate appeal in those earliest days when he was as yet closer in feeling and mode of adaptation to wild animal life and felt the closer kinship in a way that would not be possible for the twentieth century adult.

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