The Power of Literature in J.M. Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello

Suzie Gibson


The power of literature has the ability to elevate the lives of others, including non-human animals. This is poignantly dramatised in J.M. Coetzee’s novel Elizabeth Costello. The titular character of this fiction asserts that literature has the capacity to imagine and inhabit the existence of others, including non-human animals. If this is possible then animal life can be represented as being just as valuable as a human life. In Elizabeth Costello we are confronted with ethical and moral questions to do with the valuing human above that of non-human animals.


Animal Rights; Coetzee;

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