Henderson the Rain King

Topics: Africa, Henderson the Rain King Pages: 3 (1087 words) Published: November 7, 2010
Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow is a story about Eugene Henderson, a middle-aged millionaire who was often drunk, lazy and had inherited all of his money from his father. “From my old man I inherited three million dollars after taxes, but I thought myself as a bum and had my reasons, the main reason being that I behaved like a bum.”(HRK, p.1) Throughout the novel Eugene seems to have some sort of connection with different types of animals, and in some cases he even acts animal like. After constantly hearing a voice in his head saying “I want, I want” he decided to take a journey over to Africa , and during that time he encounters two very different tribes. By the end of his trip, and after everything he has gone through he was able to discover his inner self and satisfy the voice that he has been hearing repeatedly in his head. “At various times throughout the novel Henderson compares himself to an animal, the fact that he seems to be constantly in their company and more fit for that than to be with other humans.”(Shvoong) The first animal that you can closely relate Henderson to is a pig. “When I came back from war it was with the thought of becoming a pig farmer, which maybe illustrates what I thought of life in general.”(HRK, p. 20) Since he was a pig farmer he felt that he was deeply connected with the animal. At one point in the novel he is wearing nearly everything that is made of pig. “And I kept going on the staircase in my thick padded coat, in pigskin gloves and pigskin shoes, a pigskin wallet in my pocket” (HRK, p. 12) According to Bruce Michelson “He lives in every idea he encounters: confronted with the other, he becomes the other--the pig, the cow, the lion, the African, the bear”. This quote shows how Henderson connects to everything that he comes across throughout the novel. When visiting the Arnewi tribe he saw that the cattle were suffering, and all he thought about was a way to help them, and he didn’t stop until he thought of...
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