We are turning into RHINOS

What seems at first just something anomalous, the appearance of a rhino in the city, triggers a rhinocerontitis

Rinoceros - Albrecht Duhrer

The famous piece by Ionesco ‘the Rhinoceros’ tells us about the transformation of an entire community into rhinos.

Seemingly anomalous at first glance, the appearance of a rhino in the city triggers a rhinocerontitis. At first it appears to be a disease, but then, as soon as the majority of citizens are transformed, it becomes some sort of a status symbol. Soon enough, those who have not yet transformed suddenly wish to possess the horn and the thick skin of a rhino.

Only one man can eventually resist the social pressure of maintaining a human form: the man who, from the start, fit in the least into society and whose reckless lifestyle was criticized by others.

The characters who belong to the world of culture and – due to their education and intellectual abilities – are supposed to possess the greatest resilience, are instead the first to transform themselves into rhinos. They succumb to the temptation to conform with the new dominant system.

It is a work conceived in the second half of the twentieth century and represents a metaphor of humanity’s tendency to align with the dictates of society, regardless of these going against the foundational aspects of life.

Ionesco is considered the father of the theater of the absurd, an absurdity that nowadays appears to terribly real.