Essay Example on Damon Galguts novel In A Strange Room takes Place

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Damon Galguts novel In A Strange Room takes place in a number of locations and follows the journey of a young South African man named Damon In the beginning of the novel Damon seems almost unhappy and unsure about life He is traveling by foot in Greece He travels by foot for the majority of the novel and stays on the move because he is fundamentally unhappy with his life While in Greece Damon meets a man around the same age as him from Germany the mans name is Reiner They seem to click right away and have a connection and they end up traveling together The book is divided up into 3 parts the first being titled The Follower It is called the follower because out of the two men it is clear that Damon is the follower as Reiner is the more dominant of the twosome as he ends up making most of their decisions himself and planning everything around his wants and needs They end up planning a trip in the small country of Lesotho where 



They travel by foot through the country and plan a route to take Although Damon is physically attracted to Reiner he does not like the way he treats him eventually blowing up on him and after this dispute the men s short journey comes to an end This is where the second part of the novel begins entitled The Lover which takes place in zimbabwe where we now see Damon who is some years older he is still traveling by foot of course in this section he meets another young traveler named Jerome who is from France Although the two speak different languages Damon finds the man attractive and even though jerome feels the same neither man has the selfconfidence to pursue any real relationship In the final section titled The guardian takes place in India where we see Damon who has found his place in life as a caretaker for his mentally disturbed friend Anna he keeps busy and finally feels as if his life has a purpose He cares for anna making sure she stays way from her use of recreational drugs and alcohol and stays vigilant that she does not commit suicide Once anna begins to take a serious stride towards changing herself we see damon tell her that once she is okay she can do whatever she pleases and that he will only look out for her while he is her caretaker Now i will look at the main character Damon he is a deeply unhappy person who spends most of his time traveling and alone He travels so that he does not have to dwell on his own misery and so that he is distracted from all of his problems He visits ruins and exotic landmarks and landscapes but it's never truly satisfied with the environment around him We can see that Damon sees a certain freedom and release in travelling when he states By shedding all the ballast of familiar life they are each trying to recapture a sensation of weightlessness they remember but perhaps never lived in memory more than anywhere else traveling is like free fall or flight He is an awkward man and he doesn't really have social skills that present him with opportunities

The author very seldomly uses Damon's name and the majority of the novel is written in 3rd person yet their are brief periods in which he switches between 1st person and 3rd to add effectiveness to what Damon is saying for example when Damon states What is he looking for he himself doesn't know At this remove his thoughts are lost to me now and yet I can explain him better than my present self he is buried under my skin The fact that he switches from first person to third shows how damon is self aware of what he is saying and that this memory is important to him We see Demons Sadness and confusion after his falling out with Reiner and we see how he becomes more distant and confused about himself even though he doesn't directly say if this is the root of his sadness we can see how it has affected him and his actions throughout the novel Even after the two are separated and Damon is in zimbabwe we can see that the sadness he feels is still with him And even though damon meets jerome and finds comfort in jerome he still never feels comfort and closure in the situation with reiner And by the third section of the book we see how Damon has developed and he isn't looking for the comfort from people but instead providing it to his mentally ill friend anna he was the searcher and now he is the helper We never really get a full picture of damon's personality but the way the author uses the three sections to tell damon's story and develop his character gives the reader a much better understanding of the novel The quote There is a moment when any real journey begins Sometimes it happens as you leave your house sometimes it is a long way from home also shows how damon feels about traveling and how he clearly finds comfort in it and how he realizes how it has affected him and his decisions


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