Safest place on Earth? - "In Patagonia" by Bruce Chatwin

Essay by juanpaHigh School, 10th grade June 2006

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Safety. One of the world's concerns throughout history, and most of all at these times in which our safety is most in danger. From my point of view, this world is upside down, and so it is in the book "In Patagonia". This travelogue relates the story of a person, Bruce Chatwin, who travels throughout this whole place, discovering the darkest secrets hidden behind it. Patagonia was the safest place on Earth due to the world's situation after the World War II; nevertheless, every place is dangerous due to today's issues, and they are expressed in different situations of the book in which the most important ones are alcohol, violence, and criminals.

Alcohol has been an issue in our world ever since man discovered it. It is one of the worst vices on this world, and overall causes a great damage to our organisms. Still, why do we turn to alcohol? There are many answers for this, but probably the most appropriate one would be that we drink to forget about our problems or maybe to be accepted in society.

There is a great domination over the Indians, so they seek a solution for this, and it's alcohol: "An Indian eyed the mountaineers and came over to pick a quarrel. He was very drunk." (pg. 51). Alcohol was present in every place Chatwin went: "He was a nice-looking boy with a curly black hair and he really was very drunk." (pg. 13). It was so usual that even the animals were used to this: "Once you get a drunk gaucho in the saddle, he won't fall off and his horse will get him home." (pg. 37). This people wanted to forget their problems by getting drunk, and that's what Chatwin wants us to notice. Violence is a...