Dark Star Safari: Overland Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1077 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - African

This illustrates that Orientalism is not simply a western phenomenon. The Nubian is practicing the same type of behavior, looking at another culture through his own culture's eyes, and not attempting to understand any differences that might occur. It shows that this happens the world over, and it is not just "ugly Americans" who take it on their travels with them.

While poverty is rampant in many different parts of the world, including many parts of Asia, it seems rampant in Africa. The author writes, "About thirty miles north we came upon a settlement in the middle of nowhere -- people camped in mean shacks and lean-tos, fighting the heat and the wind, no trees or bush, just a few skinny goats" (Theroux 72). In another village in the Sudan he writes, "There was not a shred of clothing or any item of apparatus here that was any more modern than the first-century Meroitic temple on the other side of the dune" (Theroux). Somehow, the poverty and issues seem worse in Africa, and it seems like there is little hope for the future. In most parts of Asia, the future looks bright for many, but in Africa, there is a sense of hopelessness that is difficult to read about, and that is far different from many parts of the Orient. The fact that people can learn about it and accept it is another form of Orientalism. As long as it is not happening in my country, it is out of my radar and not worth considering.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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It is interesting to note another aspect of the book that highlights Africa and its customs, which are quite opposite of many Oriental customs. Most of the people the author encounters in his travels are friendly and open to Americans, something that might not be expected. He writes, "That was when Sadiq said, "The criterion is how you treat the weak. The measure of civilized behavior is compassion" (Theroux 90). Then there is the nun the author encounters who gives him a ride to Harar, and then entertains him for lunch. He writes, "Sister Alexandra had made spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes from her garden, and grilled fish and made salad" (Theroux 114). He encounters much kindness during his trip, and that is an unexpected part of Africa. This is not true in much of the "civilized" world, where life moves at a frenetic pace and compassion is often missing from our daily lives. It is interesting to see that the author finds it in Africa, and in many different places, something that many readers might not expect.

In conclusion, the author's trip across Africa is an interesting and sometimes surprising read. It shows the inside of Africa and her people, using real-time experiences and adventures. The book is exotic and foreign, but it is not an example of Orientalism. It does not depict the romance and mysticism associated with the East, instead it shows the poverty, hopelessness, and kindness of Africans and Africa itself, and that is something very different.


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