to whom it makes any difference what you do to him

QuangHai

Senior Member
Viet
In Out of Africa by Isak Dinensen, the author wrote about animistic societies in Africa.

"But the unprejudiced Kikuyu, Wakambas, or Kavirondos, know of no code. They have it that most people are capable of most things, and you cannot shock them if you want to. It is, it can be said, a poor or perverted Kikuyu, to whom it makes any difference what you do to him. Left to their own nature, and to the tradition of their nation, they will look upon our activities as upon those of nature"

I do not really understand red words. It is because I am not sure what the author is saying by the underlined words. Please someone help me out. Thanks
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    If a Kikuyu is affected by what you do to him, he is a poor (not a proper) or a perverted Kikuyu. Kikuyus believe that most people are capable of mostn things and are therefore not easily affected or influenced by what others do.
     

    QuangHai

    Senior Member
    Viet
    Thanks Barque. I still do not fully understand the meaning of "most people are capable of most things" Please tell me what that means?
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    It means that they aren't easily surprised by what people do, because they feel that it's in the nature of most people to do all sorts of things, things that other cultures might find surprising.

    For example, you and I might be shocked if we came across a cannibal in our neighbourhood, but a Kikuyu probably wouldn't be, because they believe that people are capable of doing many things, even thing that are generally unusual.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    You're welcome. I just realised that I should have asked you to start a separate thread as you had asked about two sets of words and I had answered your question on the underlined ones. Perhaps a mod could split it off into a new thread.
     
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