Isak Dinesen proposes that the aristocracy and the proletariat possess nobility that the middle classes lack. This distinction becomes clear with the episode of Emmanuelson. Initially, the narrator assumes that Emmanuelson is of the lesser classes. As a maitre d' in Nairobi, he had annoyed her such that she had taken to avoiding his restaurant. When he dines at her house though, he can recognize a rare type of Burgundy from just one taste. His ability to know fine wine is complemented by his widespread knowledge of literature and drama, from his years as an actor. Emmanuelson's behavior shows him to have the noble aristocratic qualities that the narrator so prizes. Later, she pictures the meeting between the Masai and Emmanuelson as a gathering of genteel, aristocratic folk. They both have a sense of the tragedy, she explains, which the bourgeoisie lack. As proletariat (Emmanuelson) and aristocrats (the Masai), they are able to overcome their cultural differences, even without language.
The discussion of aristocracy continues as Berkeley Cole and Denys Finch-Hatton come into focus. These two men epitomize fine British aristocrats, being sons of British Lords and having been educated in the finest British schools. One knows that they are aristocrats because of their penchant for fine things, such as wine, books, and records. Both men also get along well with natives, a tendency that the narrator again attributes to their aristocratic qualities. The narrator holds a similar aristocratic sensibility. Furthermore, her farm, "the sylvan retreat," is the perfect places where people from various noble backgrounds, both native and European, can connect.
The notion of connection becomes particularly relevant with regard to Denys Finch-Hatton. As was heavily emphasized in the movie "Out of Africa," and as is known from her biography, Denys and Isak Dinesen were lovers. In her book, however, Dinesen describes Denys in glowing terms, but never explicitly mentions this fact.
While their love affair may not be explicitly mentioned, many passages describing their interaction carry subtle erotic overtones. For example, when Denys returns to the farm, Dinesen writes that the farm responds in the way that African plants do "when with the first showers of the rainy season they flower, dripping wet, a cloud of chalk." These images of blossoming flowers, dripping wetness, and clouds of chalk suggest sexual intercourse. Although Dinesen never describes a scene of love making, her technique of projecting the lovers' passion onto the environment around them subtly suggests the true nature of their relationship.
Such projection of sexual passion and desire can also be seen when the two lovers hunt lions. Magowan calls the narrator's desire to shoot lions as a strong sign of her feminine sexuality. Likewise, Denys's abilities as a sportsman, testifies to his masculine virility. Furthermore, the detailed description of newly killed lions again displays the unstated sexual nature of their relationship. After the two lions are skinned, they look "magnificent in their nakedness" since they have not "a particle of superfluous fat on them," and each of their muscles appears a "bold controlled curve." Such a careful sketching of the lion's body is erotic, because it seems a clear projection of terminology that would be better applied to the lovers' naked bodies. The glistening naked feline bodies that surround Denys and the narrator on the African plain make the scene implicitly sexual. By carefully projecting such sexual overtones on the surround landscape, Dinesen is able to suggest the true nature of her relationship with Denys Finch-Hatton.
The introduction to Denys Finch-Hatton's plane foreshadows how Deny dies later. The narrator's ability to view down from the plane also allows her to return to her pastoral motif, which equates Africa with paradise. Here she compares looking down as being similar to what God saw he first created animals, before he commissioned Adam to give them names. The use of aerial imagery, as it did in the book's opening passages, suggests the freshness of the landscape and helps it to appear as a true paradise.