In the essay, “Am I Blue?” from Living by the Word in 1986 by Alice Walker, Walker explains how animals can display similar emotions to that of humans. She brings attention to her readers on how to understand that an animal can experience the same emotions as humans do. Walker compares her emotions to a horse by the name of Blue. Feeling ‘blue’ is also known as feeling sad, which is one of the emotions Walker recognizes in Blue. Walker tells a story of how this horse goes through an emotional situation that humans can experience as well.
During her encounters with Blue, Walker can see the loneliness in his eyes and can relate to how he is feeling. Walker wants her readers to understand that by looking into one’s eyes, it reveals their true emotion no matter how hard one tries to hide it.
When Blue acquires a mate, he’s happier than ever. Walker notices the change in his behavior when his mate leaves with his unborn child.
She empathizes with him by comparing his situation to one similar that would occur with a human, such as slavery. While observing the horse, Walker exposes her frustration towards humans’ (obscure) view and treatment of horses as well as animals in general. Walker agrees that humans should empathize with animals just as humans empathize with other humans because animals can experience emotion just as much as we can. She also celebrates that animals and humans have more in common than they think they do emotionally.
She wants her readers to understand that emotion is emotion when it comes from a human or an animal.