Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Plantation, Kenya, People, Situation, Farm, Sorrow, Marriage, Memoir

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/09/09

Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa is a novel far removed from its genre. Written by a woman who moved to Kenya to start a life with her husband, she was left with a disintegrated marriage and no idea how to pick up the pieces of her life. In the wake of her new life, she decided to stay behind in Kenya, as her estranged husband left, in order to manage a coffee plantation. Blixen knew immediately, as she fell in love with the landscape and the people, that she would never call another place her home. Her time on the coffee plantation was spent taking in the rich tapestry of people in Kenya, its vibrant scenery, and the local’s way of life. Out of Africa is a memoir that allows those living all over the world to see into the energetic, brilliant world Blixen experienced during her time there.
Divided into five different sections, Blixen did not appear to have a logical timeline or coherent plot in mind when sharing her memoirs. While in other novels, this strategy may be confusing and difficult to understand, Blixen executes it with ease. She uses each segment to show the people, the landscape, and Kenya as it once was, before Western civilization began to infiltrate its borders. Blixen’s first two sections focus on the locals living on the plantation, as well as those who had business with the plantation. Both segments allowed Blixen to shine a spotlight on a violent, but accidental shooting, in an effort to expose local customs concerning punishment and other lawful customs.
Blixen’s third section, “Visitors to the Farm,” tell of locals who saw the coffee plantation as a safe place from the local violence and tyranny that appeared to be in an upswing while she was living there between 1914 and 1931. The section shows how there were still some viably safe places that were resistant to the growing typical aggression in Kenya, but also managed to humanize many of the locals, showing that not everybody was an aggressive militant. The fourth section, titled, “From an Immigrant’s Notebook,” is a brief collection of Blixen’s subchapters in which she reflected on her life, and what it meant to be a white African colonist in Kenya. In the final section, Blixen explains that the farm has failed financially. She also recounts the unfortunate and untimely deaths of many of her closest friends in Kenya. Out of Africa ends as the farm is being sold. Blixen travels on the Uganda Railway to the coast, watching the Ngong Hills fade into the distance as if to remind the reader of her first words, “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”
The novel is, primarily, overwhelmingly melancholic. There are few instances that are overladen with pure happiness or joy. Blixen’s love of the farm was born out of the death of her marriage. She came to settle in Kenya with her husband and when that was a failure, she chose to stay behind and manage the plantation. Without meaning to, perhaps Blixen suggests that the best parts of our lives can grow out of the worst moments. The novel is also increasingly mournful. Five of the primary characters in Blixen’s life die, and their deaths are explained in detail, though there is little reason to do so with such emphasis. It was almost as if Blixen was still grieving for the lives of her characters. The sorrow and nostalgia felt so deep that the reader is quickly reminded the individuals are not simply characters, but people Blixen knew in real life. As the story unravels, it is easy to forget one is reading a memoir. As the novel progresses, though there is no clear frame of time for each situation, Blixen begins to speak more clearly about her feelings of sorrow and loss for having left Africa behind. She accounts for the economic disparity and the issues with her failed plantation. She comments in an almost sardonic manner about the impending loss of her plantation, clearly in denial about the situation. It is only in the final days, before the plantation is officially repossessed, that she realizes she has lost everything in Africa that she has truly grown to love.
In sum, Blixen did a good, if not heart wrenching job, at showing the feelings of sorrow, loss, and denial one goes through when finding a home in a new land after losing everything. She settled in Kenya, attempting to make a new life for herself on the coffee plantation after her marriage disintegrated. Through she was admittedly out of place, she managed to carve a niche for herself and eventually, with the current turmoil of the country, she was able to establish the coffee plantation as somewhat of a sanctuary for the locals. She felt at home within their customs; the vibrant background of Kenya became her safe place. She loved her new home, her life, and the people so deeply that she was unable to face the economic failure that eventually took the plantation, rendering her homeless. It is not until she is traveling toward the coast at the end of the novel that she realizes she has lost everything and must start again somewhere else. I thoroughly enjoyed the memoir. The author managed to convey the sorrow and loss of her situation by conveying melancholy instead of creating a sappy story that nobody could relate to easily. Her sardonic denial is relatable, even in her dire situation, because upon further analysis I could not say I would have acted any differently when the situation was so severe for my closest friends, my home, or myself. Blixen found a place she could make her home, and it crumbled all around her until she was forced to leave Africa even though she was not a local, making this piece even more compelling than others like it do.

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WePapers. (2020, September, 09) Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-literature-review-on-out-of-africa-by-karen-blixen/
"Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen." WePapers, 09 Sep. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-literature-review-on-out-of-africa-by-karen-blixen/. Accessed 01 October 2020.
WePapers. 2020. Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen., viewed October 01 2020, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-literature-review-on-out-of-africa-by-karen-blixen/>
WePapers. Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen. [Internet]. September 2020. [Accessed October 01, 2020]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-literature-review-on-out-of-africa-by-karen-blixen/
"Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen." WePapers, Sep 09, 2020. Accessed October 01, 2020. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-literature-review-on-out-of-africa-by-karen-blixen/
WePapers. 2020. "Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved October 01, 2020. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-literature-review-on-out-of-africa-by-karen-blixen/).
"Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 09-Sep-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-literature-review-on-out-of-africa-by-karen-blixen/. [Accessed: 01-Oct-2020].
Example Of Literature Review On Out Of Africa By Karen Blixen. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-literature-review-on-out-of-africa-by-karen-blixen/. Published Sep 09, 2020. Accessed October 01, 2020.
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