The Iguana

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“The Iguana”
The taking over a culture is something that the Europeans should have never done. Taking over Africa to try and make it the way they wanted ruined their culture and customs, in attempts to make Africa more like England but in fact the changes destroyed what made Africa unique. In Isak Dinesens “The Iguana,” Dienesens shoot’s an iguana for the beauty of the skin then after standing over the lifeless iguana’s pale skin and realizes that only full of life can it be beautiful. Dinerens later purchases a bracelet dangling from the wrist of a young native girl she finds to be one of the most beautiful bracelets she has ever seen. After seeing it pressed against her pale skin she realizes that the bracelet really means nothing.

The beauty of land is a magnificent thing especially when left alone. In “The Iguana” she catches the beauty of the land but she doesn’t appreciate it. Instead she decides to shoot an iguana for its beauty of the skin. As she gets closer to touch the lifeless creature it grows pale “…and dull like a lump of concrete.” Beauty of land and creatures should be enjoyed in its natural habitat.

Culture is something that people should be honored to learn about. Isak Dinesen does not appreciate the African culture. In the story she takes away a bracelet that belonged to a young native girl. Dinesen’s thought was if I can not get the iguana skin ill just get the one that this girl had it look so beautiful on her. She loved it so much that she made her friend buy it from her. As she put it on her own wrist it was nothing now just a bracelet. She soon realizes that it was “…the native’s skin that had created the life of the bracelet.” Ultimately, Dinesens and her counterparts ruin east Africa by not respecting its culture. Each time she fails to capture the essence of her surroundings. At the end she leaves behind a little less than what was desirable.
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