Karen travels to Africa to escape the expectations of Danish society, but what she really wants is a place where she can plant her flag. It's not Denmark, that's for sure, at least for now. Out of Africa spends a lot of time focusing on her need for a home: not only a physical place like the plantation, but people like Denys and Farah, whom she can count on (well, okay, Farah).
That's a paradox that runs throughout the film: familiar comforts vs. strange, challenging adventures. Karen wants an unconventional life but still longs for conventional things like a comfortable home and marriage to a decent man. Africa sure begins to feel like home, and if Denys had lived, who knows if she would've ever left?
Questions About The Home
What does the home mean to Karen? To Denys?
Is the home a state of mind as much as a physical place? How so?
What is it about Denmark that prevents Karen from thinking about it as a home? Is Africa different?
Chew on This
Home for Karen is a state of mind and can be wherever the she decides it is.
For Denys, the idea of a permanent home freaks him out.