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Green Banana - Essay Example

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As he was exploring the area in his jeep, the vehicle’s radiator sprung a leak, forcing him to stop at a nearby village. Much to his surprise, the villagers knew of a way to fix the leak. It turns out that when a…
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Green Banana
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"Green Banana"

Download file to see previous pages The native pointed it out to the American, explaining that the rock is the center of the world. The American professor was politely noncommittal. The mechanic who repaired the jeep’s radiator noticed the green banana “fix” and asked the American where he had learned it. Upon hearing the traveler’s reply, the mechanic also pointed out the rock that was the center of the world. Reflecting upon this experience, the American experienced a sort of epiphany as he realized that there are “green bananas” everywhere, and that the “center of the world” is unique to everyone because it is a reference to a personal comfort zone.
The story of the green banana is ripe with symbolism (pun intended). A simple piece of fruit is used to make the reader realize that sometimes what he or she is looking for has been there all along. We may see a green banana in the grocery store and dismiss it, reaching instead for a selection of yellow ones. Being brought up that bananas should be yellow, and that unripe fruit causes uncomfortable intestinal distress, it is logical that the green ones should be passed over. As the writer attests, being a “product of American higher education” he thought of the banana only as a food source. Had he not been stranded, he surely would have scoffed at the suggestion by a villager that a green banana could be used to plug a leak in a radiator. Prior to this event, he had no incentive to explore the various uses of all kinds of bananas, much like most of us remain ignorant to the contributions possible by others because we have no need to change our ways. This perspective is detrimental to our development as a society in that it prevents collaboration and the free exchange of different thoughts and ideas.
This self-centeredness keeps us ignorant of the many gifts to be offered by other cultures. Such is the case for the American stranded in the village. He was bemused when the child showed up with the green ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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