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Joe Kane Knopf

12 May 2017Essay Samples

Savages by Joe Kane Knopf (1996)

Set in the rainforests of Ecuador, the novel by Kane is overwhelmingly warm for the natives and discusses their true cultural heritage. Kane has written with a tragic sense of intimacy and skill and shows the loss of a rain forest as the loss of many friends. It is complete with strong characters and wild landscapes such as Moi, Enquiry, and Judith. The death of a rainforest is a huge tragedy if we think from the point of view of the natives. Imagine the slashed-and-burned wastelands or oil-blackened rivers in the jungle. Sometimes a person gets tearful on the powerlessness of the Huaoranis. Yet they have the spirit to fight. It is as if an elder tries to fight with a child.

Issues raised in the novel

Who are the Savages really?

The writer leads the readers to analyze and reach to a place where he questions, who are actually the savages? Is it the Huaoranis or the environmental groups, missionaries, politicians and land-hungry colonists, or the oil company business executives? "For all the ruckus being raised," Kane writes, "no one knew what the Huaorani wanted. No one really knew who the Huaorani were."

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Rights of the natives

There are many laws in the world protecting their citizens from the evils of discrimination and destruction of business world or any other. But alas there are no such laws for combating the greed of business executives and power hungry oil companies.

Destroying a source of livelihood of Huaoranis

Moi and other people earn their livelihood acting as naturalist guides. This way the other people also have the opportunity to experience and learn about the Huaorani culture and their close relationship with their rainforest home. But when the American oil company destroys the forest then who would bear the blame of making so many people unemployed.

Perseverance of world cultures

The Huaorani people have been living in the rainforests of the Amazon for centuries. They lived as hunters and gatherers until late 1950. Numbering approximately 1,300 individuals, the Huaorani continue to maintain a largely traditional lifestyle, based in the rainforests of the headwaters of the Amazon.
Respect for the life of a wildlife

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