This contrast in the attitudes and movements of these two carnivorous animals, under the same pleased and affectionate frame of mind, can be explained, as it appears to me, solely by their movements standing in complete antithesis to those which are naturally assumed, when these animals feel savage and are prepared either to fight or to seize their prey.In these cases of the dog and cat, there is every reason to believe that the gestures both of hostility and affection are innate or inherited; for they are almost identically the same in the different races of the species, and in all the individuals of the same race, both young and old.Let us now suppose that the dog suddenly discovers that the man he is approaching, is not a stranger, but his master; and let it be observed how completely and instantaneously his whole bearing is reversed.Tags: To Write A Good EssayRobert Marks Origins Of The Modern World ThesisMac Address AssignmentEssays On Mental HealthWriting An Opinion Essay Lesson PlansComplete My AssignmentWilliam Carlos Williams EssayThesis Maker For Research Paper
From the drawing back of the ears, the eyelids become elongated, and the eyes no longer appear round and staring.
It should be added that the animal is at such times in an excited condition from joy; and nerve-force will be generated in excess, which naturally leads to action of some kind.
Not one of the above movements, so clearly expressive of affection, are of the least direct service to the animal.
They are explicable, as far as I can see, solely from being in complete opposition or antithesis to the attitude and movements which, from intelligible causes, are assumed when a dog intends to fight, and which consequently are expressive of anger.
Certain states of the mind lead, as we have seen in the last chapter, to certain habitual movements which were primarily, or may still be, of service; and we shall find that when a directly opposite state of mind is induced, there is a strong and involuntary tendency to the performance of movements of a directly opposite nature, though these have never been of any service.
A few striking instances of antithesis will be given, when we treat of the special expressions of man; but as, in these cases, we are particularly liable to confound conventional or artificial gestures and expressions with those which are innate or universal, and which alone deserve to rank as true expressions, I will in the present chapter almost confine myself to the lower animals.
The Principle of Antithesis -- Instances in the dog and cat -- Origin of the principle -- Conventional signs -- The principle of antithesis has not arisen from opposite actions being consciously performed under opposite impulses.
WE will now consider our second Principle, that of Antithesis.
But we are not here concerned with this well-known attitude, expressive of terror combined with anger; we are concerned only with that of rage or anger.
This is not often seen, but may be observed when two cats are fighting together; and I have seen it well exhibited by a savage cat whilst plagued by a boy.