This Article is About
giraffe
roman catholic church
novel ideas
culture shock
leeway
traditional values
viewpoints
The Giraffe
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The Giraffe

The short story, "The Giraffe", is about some boys that introduce a giraffe into a society where change is frowned upon. So, of course this new, tall animal is seen as a threat and severely unwelcomed. However the boys decide to keep it, but pay the price when they cannot look after the giraffe.

The central metaphor is that here are societies that welcome change with good grace and there are others that shut their doors on any form of a new idea because there just isn’t enough leeway. The latter society is explicitly represented in the story, “The Giraffe” by Mauro Senesi. Clearly, the giraffe represented a new idea and that the society simply could not allow it in because of the dominating traditional values. Having no room, or even tolerance, in this case, to unfamiliar ideas, could most definitely be the repentant path to a constrained advancement and culture shock when the inhabitants eventually realize there will not always be the cushion of unchanging traditions to fall back upon.

A similar situation to the one above is of Galileo and his idea of a heliocentric universe that challenged the Roman Catholic Church’s viewpoints. When Galileo proposed his new idea that opposed what had been assumed for thousands of years, it was seen as preposterous by most people. However, there were believers, like his teacher and others who were more open-minded, similar to Ronaldino and the other boys. Because of the Church’s unchangeable opinion to a new idea, years of scientific progress had been held back.

Another example, also backing up the viewpoint of declination to novel ideas, is of the Soviet Union and US. Similar to the society in “The Giraffe”, the Soviet Union was also unwilling to accept anything different, but in this case it was the concept of democracy and capitalism, similar to the way US was governed. The Soviet Union was so reliant on conventional communism, it never occurred to them that there may be a more advantageous way of governing. Because of the economic instability from communist ways and these conflicting viewpoints, it all ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Judging by the outcomes of all the examples above, it is reasonable to say that the effects are unjustified by a society’s immovable hesitancy to accept new ideas, resulting in culture shock, declined progression and failing to realize the potential gains of these foreign ways, possibly leading to the collapse of an entire society.


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