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Compare Contrast Essay

981 words - 4 pages

The stories Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa and Self-Discovery and the Danish Way of Life are easily comparable. The narrators of both stories write about a time in which they are experiencing a different culture. They also write about their yearnings for self-discovery through exotic experiences. The viewpoints, however, of each writer are at opposite ends of the spectrum. In Self-Discovery and the Danish Way of Life, the narrator writes about his international experiences while studying abroad in Denmark. On the other hand, in Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa, the narrator never actually visits Africa. Instead, he figuratively visits the continent ...view middle of the document...

Unlike Sedaris, Jamie Gullen, the author of Self-Discovery and the Danish Way of Life, has already traveled abroad and has gained many life long memories. However, he still expresses an intense desire for self-discovery. His aspirations and thoughts are made clear to the reader when he writes, “My thoughts settled on my first month in Copenhagen when I was having a discussion with a fellow DIS student. She was saying she had expected to feel a significant change in who she was from being abroad, but so far she felt like the same person she had always been. This got me thinking about whether or not I had experienced a significant change of self from being abroad in a culture totally different from the one in which I grew up in.” According to this passage, Gullen expresses his urge to discover a change in himself while studying abroad. He wants to know if he is capable of being shaped through his experiences. However, he has another, more important realization when he writes, “Study abroad doesn’t change who you are; it helps you discover who you are.” In this passage, it becomes clear that the author believes that experiencing different cultures does not change a person, but rather helps them to become aware of themselves. This is the point in which both authors hold common ground. Gullen and Sedaris both aspire to achieve maximum self awareness. They also believe that, by experiencing in different parts of the world, one becomes awakened to both himself and different cultures.
These stories are told from differing viewpoints. Sedaris, for example, writes about his experiences of Africa through the eyes of a different person. Gullen, on the other hand, writes about his personal experience in Denmark. In Self-Discovery and the Danish Way of Life, Gullen writes about Hygge and how it changes his outlook on life. According to this story, Hygge has no direct English translation. Instead, it is...

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