Nairobi

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere novellen "Nairobi" af Joyce Carol Oates. Udover analysehjælpen kan du finde et summary af teksten samt idéer til fortolkning og perspektivering. 

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “Nairobi” (1984)
Forfatter: Joyce Carol Oates
Genre: Short story

Joyce Carol Oates (f. 1938) er en amerikansk forfatter, som er kendt for at skrive både romaner, noveller, poesi og skuespil. Hun har modtaget adskillige priser for sit arbejde, heriblandt en samlet pris for hele sit livsværk. 

Novellen "Nairobi" blev udgivet første gang i 1984. Den har også været inkluderet i antologien Best American Short Stories of the Eighties (1990).  

Uddrag

Nedenfor kan du læse et kort uddrag fra vores study guide til novellen:

Title

The title of the short story “Nairobi” by Joyce Carol Oates is both straightforward and symbolic. The reader may expect the story to take place in Nairobi, but instead, it takes place in Manhattan, New York. The contrast between the place mentioned in the title and the actual physical setting of the story might be intended to mirror the contrast between the real Ginny and the character she is playing at Oliver’s request.

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, and Herbert has recently traveled there on a business trip. Oliver seems interested in the information Herbert has acquired while in Nairobi, and the story suggests that he enlists Ginny’s services to learn this information. To Ginny, Nairobi symbolically represents upper-class society, only slightly, tangentially known to her. The word “tangentially” is used twice in the story (l. 29, l. 232), reinforcing the idea that Ginny is able to pass as upper-class, but only on the surface and for a brief period of time. The word "slightly" is also repeated, further reinforcing this. She supposes Nairobi is “a country somewhere in Africa” (l. 188) but hides her ignorance well enough so that her conversation partner does not suspect her lack of knowledge, just as she can pass as a member of the upper class without anyone suspecting, at least for the period of time it takes Oliver to get the information he wants. Ginny remains as unaware of Nairobi as she is of the meaning of the information Oliver wants to learn.

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Nairobi

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