Study Guide

Out of Africa Escape

Escape

In Out of Africa, Karen and Denys, and even Bror in some weird way, are trying to get away from a society that pretty much wanted to squash them flat. Karen also wants to escape a lousy marriage, and Denys will cut and run to the bush the minute he feels restless. It's safe to say that these folks are in dire need of an escape, which Africa can both provide for them and deny them in equal parts. And because this is an autobiography, escape usually means starting another part of your life (or in Denys's case, dying) instead of giving you a happily every after.

Questions About Escape

  1. What is Karen hoping to escape when she moves to Africa?
  2. How does Denys escape, and what's he trying to escape from?
  3. In what ways does Africa both allow the characters to escape and keep them from escaping?
  4. Do either of the characters actually escape in the end? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Karen wanted to get out of a Danish society that was stultifying for an adventurous young woman. She really didn't care where she went.

There's no real escape for Karen from her problems. She just trades them in for new ones.

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