The Mosquito Coast

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Navigating the Global explores the challenges and complexities confronted by individuals embarking on a quest for a greater meaning in their lives. The concept of globalization is an ever growing understanding of the complexities and challenges of the late 20th to 21st century world where the increase in technology and communication has lead to the homogenization of cultural values. The concept of navigating through these complexities is referred to by critic T. Friedman as “An inevitable process of western civilization battling forces of primitivism and localism” Which can be seen in the 1981 novel The Mosquito Coast (TMC) by Paul Theroux and the 2007 film Into the wild directed by Sean Penn (ITW) demonstrates the consequences brought by failure to adopt the hybridity of the “glocal”. TMC depicts the geographical navigation from modern America to the most extreme form of “primitivism” Honduras as a journey of profound and moral significance away from American “the high prices, bad tempers, unpunished criminals”. In the opening chapters the audience is presented with Charlie’s father, Allie who criticizes the consumerist values upheld in America, through his tirades against American consumerist and materialist attitudes “Water ‘s as free as air. Those dinghbats are selling water!” illustrating his rejection of the mainstream Western consumer values. This results in Allie’s quest to escape the debauchery and despair of American society through the construction of a new “civilization” in Jeronimo. Allie’s first confrontation with the native Zambus is one of implicit criticism “what a hole, I wouldn’t be caught in that dump” which shows Allie’s innate disrespect for the local as he fails to recognize the local as an alternate source of knowledge. ITW similarly portrays an individual’s quest through the navigation between the local and the global in search for a greater meaning in their lives from “history and oppression and law and irksome obligations” . ITW...
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