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“Mowgli syndrome” is a term used by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty in her 1995 book Other Peoples’ Myths: The Cave of Echoes to describe mythological figures who succeed in bridging the animal and human worlds to become one with nature, a human animal, only to become trapped between the two worlds, not completely animal yet not entirely human.
It is also a rarely used descriptive term for so-called feral children; “Mowgli syndrome” is not a recognized psychological or physiological malady. The term originates from the character Mowgli, a fictional feral child from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
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