The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon Foreignness and the Other
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Foreignness and the Other
Throughout the annals of history, old white dudes have been the primary lens through which the world is viewed. Anyone outside of this gray, pasty worldview is considered "the Other." The Other is often labeled as dangerous, and it's often feared by these washed-out and washed-up old bros—especially if it's the tribes of the Amazon jungle we're talking about. Films like Cannibal Holocaust and The Green Inferno, for example,depict Amazonian tribes as bloodthirsty cannibals.
In some cases, that can be true. Everything is delicious with enough salt, right? Reality, though, is always more nuanced. As we explore the Amazon with Fawcett and Grann in The Lost City of Z, we learn about the great diversity in the jungle.
Questions About Foreignness and the Other
- What prejudices are held by the Royal Geographic Society and its members, and how do these prejudices affect the expeditions?
- How does Fawcett treat the natives of the Amazon? What does he do differently from other explorers?
- How have attitudes toward tribes in the Amazon rain forest changed from Fawcett's time to our time?
Chew on This
To ethnocentric explorers, natives are the "other." But to the natives of the forest, the explorers are the others.
Fawcett is unique for his time period, give that he identifies more with the Amazonian tribes than with his fellow white explorers. As a result, he has a more sympathetic view of these groups.
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