Immigration in Pap Khouma’s Novel, I Was an Elephant Salesman

Pages: 2 (732 words) Published: March 6, 2014

Pap Khouma’s novel, I was an Elephant Salesman, outlines several different aspects as to what it feels like from a first person approach to being a immigrant in a foreign land. Pap outlines several characteristics that many of the immigrants share with one another. The most notable ones are the harsh life and risks the different immigrants take to survive and to “stay under the radar,” of the police. Paschal goes through several different situations in which he is either exploited or humiliated in order to avoid being sent back to Dakar, Senegal. He is living primarily as a nomad throughout much of the story living day to day and traveling from country to country selling small ivory things to Europeans to make money. Paschal lives a really tough life in the book having to fight off thieves and hide from police on an almost seemingly daily basis, but in the end I think Paschal is able to look back on his life and feel some since of accomplishment that he would have achieved if he had stayed in Senegal.

The textbook covers some very key aspects to the reasons why many poor countries either continue to stay poor or how they ended up getting in the situation. Some of the approaches it takes relate directly to that of immigration, it is easy to understand how anyone especially someone like Paschal would leave at first chance from Senegal which suffers greatly from poverty and economic blight. Government serves as the exclusive public organization in many countries; the book finds that in several countries of varying levels of poverty many of them suffer from economic blight and market failure issues. These all span from collective action problems that the government has not faced or chooses to act in a manner that suits themselves over their constituents. Relating this too the book Senegal is in rough economic times and Paschal sees as his best way to achieve a lifestyle that he wants to live is to travel abroad and set a new course for life away from...
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