The Ultimate Safari

by Nadine Gordimer

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What is the narrative point of view of "The Ultimate Safari"? How is the story affected by the choice of narrator?

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"The Ultimate Safari" is narrated by a young girl of nine or ten, who is escaping with her grandparents from Mozambique, where her parents have both recently disappeared, to South Africa via the Kruger National Park. The girl is highly observant and intelligent (she tells us at one point that she is good in school) and notices many details, particularly amongst the unfamiliar wildlife of the game park (they have, or had, some of the same animals in Mozambique, she says—but her country is principally a country of people rather than a country of animals, though the people are killing each other).

The choice of a young child to narrate the story means that intelligence and a fresh, curious perspective can be combined with naivety and incomprehension. The absurdity and terror of the situation are heightened by seeing them from a child's perspective, but the narrator has the resilience of the young and remains interested in her surroundings even when, for instance, her grandfather disappears.

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