Study Guide

Out of Africa Literature and Writing

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Literature and Writing

Karen Blixen, nom de plume Isak Dinesen, became of the greatest writers of the 20th century when she returned from Africa. While she's still in the "growth and learning" part of her life in Out of Africa, it's clear that she's got the chops to make writing work.

The film wants to show us that talent, starting with the voice-over narration that's presumably her reading her delicious writing to us. We see it also in her storytelling abilities during that first evening with Denys, which earns her a bright and shiny new pen. We're hoping she wrote with it for the rest of her life.

Questions About Literature and Writing

  1. Why is this part of Karen's life so important to her writing?
  2. What's important about Denys's ability to appreciate Karen's writing?
  3. How does the film show us Karen's literary talent?

Chew on This

Karen's writing would not have been possible without all the experiences she went through in Africa.

Writing may have been a way for Karen to deal with the loss and pain of her African experience.

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