Goodall, Jane. Through a Window. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990. Jane Goodall’s books, Through a Window, In the Shadow of Man, and The Chimpanzees of Gombe, recount her many years as an observer of chimpanzees and other species of monkeys. In Through a Window, she gives her account of thirty years with chimpanzees in the village of Gombe, off of Lake Tanganyika. During those thirty years with her son and husband, she observed and researched the chimpanzees with the help of other researchers.
This book is a collection of the observations and data, in addition to the emotions she felt during this era. The theme of Through a Window is that chimpanzees have very human characteristics and feelings, and she proves this through her descriptions of love, war, power, and life in general. The African community of Gombe remains the center of the events throughout the book. Goodall describes it as “peaceful” and “hauntingly beautiful” (Goodall 2).
The monkeys are the main residents in this beautiful place, as they can suddenly take over any calmness or serenity that was once there. “Goblin abruptly sat up and, almost at once…
instant pandemonium broke out.” (Goodall 2).
Many characters are born and die throughout the story, and their setting is always described, as if being compared to the eternalness of nature. “The field staff found Charlie’s dead body lying near the Khama Stream” (Goodall 106).
... to the book cart and pulled a huge book out called, The 20 th Century Year by Year. This was ... and much much more. (The 20 th Century Year by Year, Phillips, Charles) I really enjoyed researching this ... during the Russian Revolution." (The 20 th Century Year by Year. 191) I never knew that Stalin was not ... isn't this? Nope. According to The World Book Encyclopedia, Gamal Abdel Nasser, "Led a revolt that ...
The characters in the story are very definite, being that the major ones have entire chapters devoted to their life story.
These would include Melissa, Fig an, Gila, Gigi, Jo meo, and Goblin. Although these characters develop and change throughout the story, I feel that the more important development lies in the narrator, Jane Goodall. During the course of these thirty years, she has scientific as well as personal epiphanies. “I suggested that the chimpanzees probably passed their tool-using traditions from one generation to the next, through observations, imitation and practice… .” (Goodall 19).
She also empathizes with the female chimps in what it is like to be a mother.
Goodall uses surprisingly easy syntax and word choice throughout the book. Although she is very intelligent, she wanted an easy read for not only other scientists, but also for others wanting to learn more about chimps. The simple language also becomes part of the theme that monkeys are comparable to humans. She uses words that normally would describe a human child or adolescent or adult, and uses them to portray a monkey also in the time in its life. The order of chapters in Through a Window is extraordinarily choppy and irregular. Goodall hops around from a chapter about a certain chimp, to a chapter about the power struggle within the group, and back to another character, and so on.
It doesn’t impair the flow of the book, seeing that if it was written in chronological order, it would be difficult to comprehend and follow. The main purpose of Jane Goodall’s Through a Window is to show the relationship between humans and chimpanzees. Chimps can not only learn how to speak American Sign Language, and are very intelligent, but they also have very human emotions. A mother and daughter relationship is a very important one in a human society, as with the monkey society. The mother becomes extremely attached and has certain maternal instincts that help her to become the caretaker she needs to be. The book also talks about the power struggle the adult males have, and the war between them.
While reading Through a Window, I was entranced by the similarities shown by Jane Goodall of humans and monkeys. I knew that they were the closest to humans scientifically; however I was unaware that they could feel such human emotions. This book was not only informative, but exceptionally interesting. Any person wanting to learn more about the character of a monkey, or even about humans, should read this book.
... that does not exist in the book. This romance adds a more human side to Hawkeye's character; it show s his caring ... was originally in the book was the character of David Gamut, the psalmist. Of all the characters in the book I felt his was ... . Another alteration the movie made from the book was in the character of Cora. In the book, Cora is much braver and less ...
Through a Window really opened my eyes to the world of Gombe and made me feel as if I was actually Jane Goodall observing monkeys in the wild.