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Out of Africa

Isak Dinesen


Key Facts

full title ·  Out of Africa

author ·  Isak Dinesen

type of work ·  Memoir

genre ·  Mythic memoir; colonial travel literature

language ·  English

time and place written ·  Denmark, 1935–1936

date of first publication ·  1837

publisher ·  Putnam

narrator ·  Baroness Karen Blixen

point of view ·  First Person

tone ·  Usually light and storytelling until the final section when it turns melancholic

tense ·  Past tense

setting (time) ·  1913–1930

setting (place) ·  Near Nairobi, Kenya, Africa

protagonist ·  Baroness Karen Blixen

major conflict ·  The narrator's struggle to keep her coffee farm

rising action ·  Attempts to grow coffee; Arrival of Old Knudsen; Hunting expeditions in Africa; Accidental shooting between boys; Visitors on the Farm

climax ·  The realization that the narrator must sell her farm

falling action ·  Selling of farm; Death of Denys Finch-Hatton; Death of Chief Kinanjui; Departure from Africa

themes ·  Aristocracy Africa as Paradise; Separation of the races; Aristocracy

motifs ·  God; Dying at Will; Storytelling

symbols ·  Lions; Old Knudsen; Lulu

foreshadowing ·  Predictions of Denys' death; Statement that the farm was too high to grow coffee; Seeing a herd of wild dogs; Account of the giraffe being shipped to Europe

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