"Of Elephants and Ducks" by Ariel Dorfman example

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"Of Elephants and Ducks" by Ariel Dorfman

At first sight The Story of Babar is a cheerful story where changes are made with good intentions and at the end everyone is happy to live a new improved life. But the wilderness is altered drastically and animals lose their origin, their wild nature and it seems wrong that they adopt a foreign way of life, completely strange to them. This story evoked dubious feelings of joy and sadness.

And what strikes the most in Of Elephants and Ducks by Ariel Dorfman is his comparison of “barbaric”, uncivilized countries with childhood and western, civilized ones with adult world. The author states that both in
The Story of Babar and Disney’s cartoons the only way for children to grow up and leave poverty behind is to follow the road paved for them by foreign highly civilized nations. The young readers have no chance for their own way and have to accept the rules of other cultures. It is difficult to believe that such works for children were intentionally made with the purpose to limit their views and “colonize” their minds. And although this author’s idea strikes as a very possible one, I cannot completely agree with him on this point.

The same issues of a gap between middle/upper class and the poor and of contrast between different cultures are shown in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Fly Away Home. Although they are both first-
person narrations, I think these two books oppose one another. One is very true-to-life with vivid description of Indian boy’s reality and his understanding of harsh rules of life: follow your dream but be ready to fight for it and work hard. The other one is very far from reality as problems of the poor are viewed from a middle/upper class position who don’t take the responsibility for poverty and leave it to the providence to change the lives of the poor for …

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