Study Guide

Out of Africa Change

By Isak Dinesen


In many ways, change is what every story in Out of Africa is about. Whether it's dealing with how Africa has changed or changes in the author's personal life, the book is basically a whole bunch of before-and-after pictures, without the gigantic pairs of jeans.

The narrator of the memoir has a really tough time accepting change, so you might come away with a fuddy-duddy anti-change view of "kids these days" and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." But look past the grouching and griping and try to figure out why she has such a hard time letting go of Kenya, Africa, her farm, and her old life.

Questions About Change

  1. The final section of the book, "Farewell to the Farm" is filled with not only the narrator's preparations for leaving Africa, but also the deaths of friends. What does this tell us about her view of change?
  2. What is the role of the Government in changing life in East Africa? Are these changes characterized as positive or negative?
  3. Why do you think that the Baroness has such a terrible time dealing with change?
  4. How do the Natives deal with the same changes that the Baroness is experiencing?

Chew on This

Out of Africa is a conservative book that expresses a hatred of change.

Change is shown to be inevitable in Out of Africa.