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Being Here Short Stories

  • Date Submitted: 05/30/2013 10:16 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 70.2 
  • Words: 2321
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The story "The Ultimate Safari" takes place in Mozambique, a country in Africa. At the time this story was written, Mozambique was going through a difficult period in it's history. Civil war was threatening the lives of many, and speaking out against the government could get you arrested or killed. Nadine Gordimer knew of these dangers and even helped to hide some of her friends from danger, putting herself at great risk. She knew that writing openly about the terrible things in going on in Mozambique could get her killed, and many of her books were banned. For this reason she chose to use a large amount of symbolism in "The Ultimate Safari."

When reading, you are told that the girl's grandmother and grandfather are very different. The grandmother is strong and big, where as her husband is thin and frail. The grandmother becomes a point of stregth for the children, and gives them the help they need to continue their journey. In a way she represents the strong will of all the refugees to survive and work toward peace. As the story progresses the family starts to move through the Kruger park. They must remain very quiet and cannot light any fires, if they are found they will be sent back home. One day, the grandfather is not feeling well and leaves to be alone while going to the bathroom. He never returns and they spend a day or two searching for him without ever finding him. The disappearances of the girl's mother and grandfather should not be over looked. The author is trying to make the readers aware that these things really are occuring. People leave for the store or for a walk, and never return. This leaves their families wondering what to do and how to move on.

One of the biggest uses of symbolism in the story is how Gordimer speaks of lions. The lions are very dangerous, much like the feared rebel fighters, or bandits. Whenever the lions are around the group must go very far out of their way to avoid them. One night the lions invade the camp and many...

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