Study Guide

The One and Only Ivan Philosophical Viewpoint: Animal Rights

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Philosophical Viewpoint: Animal Rights

Patient is a useful way to be when you're an ape. (patience.12)

What does patient mean in Ivan's view? Has being patient with Mack's poor choices helped anybody? Is Ivan confusing patience with feeling disempowered to change things?

"You've lost your magic, old guy. You used to be a hit." (the loneliest.95)

Mack could easily be looking in a mirror, talking to himself here, but he's actually talking to Ivan. Is it possible that people project their own feelings on to the animals they share their lives with—or do they just grow to look like them?

I wish humans could understand me the way I understand them. (the loneliest gorilla in the world.99)

If humans could understand Ivan, we're thinking he'd spend way less of his life stuck in the mall.

When she went lame and lagged behind the other elephants, the circus sold her to Mack. (stella's trunk.136)

A limping elephant: not good enough for the circus, but good enough for Mack. What was Mack thinking when he purchased an injured elephant? What does that show about his character?

They think I'm too old to cause trouble. Old age is a powerful disguise. (stella's trunk.143)

Wisdom can come with age, and in Stella's case, she has wisdom in spades—plus, she's not afraid to spark a mini-revolution on her deathbed.

It is the most beautiful mad I have ever heard. (a new beginning.758)

The anger Ivan hears in Ruby is beautiful because it is resistance to cruelty. Ruby hasn't resigned herself to a life under Mack's control yet, and this sense of herself as free and as deserving better is a beautiful thing indeed.

But inside me, hidden, is another Ivan. He could tear a grown man's limbs off his body. (another ivan.866)

Ivan's anger management skills are phenomenal. Makes us wonder if he's lived his entire life knowing that guy was inside of him.

Elephants are people too. (protestors.1202)

The humans who hold signs at the protest with this slogan on them are trying to make an important point about animal rights. Animals might not look and act like humans, but they deserve the same fundamental respect.

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