Henry Rider Haggard sets out to create an epic tale of courage, a breathtaking drama that attempts to capture, within its limits, the universal spirit of adventure. He appeals in particular to the proverbial young male that seeks an audacious inspiration in life by which to model his own. He entices his readers because his motives lie simply in his desire to entertain, to delight, and to enthrall anyone with a prolific imagination. However, this purely entertaining account of an eclectic and adventuresome trio clearly manifests its motives by the simple elimination ambiguity, leaving little or nothing to the whims of infinite interpretation. As it is, everything within the novel seems to have the intention of being taken “with a grain of salt.” Haggard knew his audience, a pretentious and nationalistic society bent on world domination or at the very least determined to reduce the rest of the world to nothing more than a means to meet their desires. And with these precepts in mind, Haggard creates a fantastical tale, taking heed of what is socially acceptable and what is not, all the while maintaining western superiority over the rest of the world.
“The fact of the matter is, that I thought that the best plan would be to tell the story in a plain straightforward manner…I cannot help thinking that simple things are always the most impressive, books are easier to understand when they are written in plain language, though I have perhaps no right to set up an opinion on such a matter.” (Haggard 6).
In this introduction/disclaimer, Allan Quatermain as our narrator, comes clean with his intentions, providing a stabilizing retrospective for the ensuing epitaph. He seems well aware of the vague line between words intended for fiction and those intended for controversy. And by designating the jolly old Quatermain as narrator, Haggard vicariously endear himself to his readers by exuding a simple humility in light of his grander than...
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