Study Guide

Out of Africa What's Up With the Ending?

What's Up With the Ending?

Bit of a downer, isn't it?

After losing everything, even to the point of having to sell all her stuff and move back to Denmark, Karen gets one last glorious night with Denys. Then she hears that he was killed in a plane crash and buries him.

It's not the kind of thing that leaves you doing cartwheels on your way out of the theater, though it's certainly good if you want to win the Oscars (they love them the grim ones).

And yet it's not as down as it might seem. Because if you look at Karen's face when she's talking over Denys's grave, you can see how strong she is. Her sadness is deep and profound, but it hasn't broken her. Nothing here has. She's going back to Denmark not in defeat, but to start the next chapter of her life, which ultimately ends with one of those "greatest writers of the 20th century" deals.

We can skip ahead because it's a true story, and like a lot of true stories, the unhappy ending is really just the start of a much better chapter.

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