Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds

Author: Joy Adamson

By: Jayden Scarborough

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Joy Adamson/author is a protagonist in this story. Joy has curly blond hair and is 46 years old. She doesn’t have any kids and loves animals. When her husband George brought home 3 two-week-old lion cubs, she bottle fed them and took care of them. Joy named them "Big One", "Lustica" and "Elsa.” Elsa is her favorite and follows Joy everywhere. When the lion cubs are older, they send two of them to the Rotterdam Zoo because Joy, George, and Nuru feel like they can’t take care of all three. Joy wanted Elsa (she was the smallest cub) to stay with them. Joy and Elsa spend a lot of time together traveling, playing and exploring. Joy loves to draw and take pictures of Elsa. Joy is very caring and acts like a mother towards Elsa. She gives Elsa the freedom to act like a lion and rarely puts her in a pen or cage. When they have to release her to the wild, Joy is very patient and tries to teach Elsa how to survive on her own. She is upset when they have to release Elsa, but knows that releasing her is for the best. She is a very caring person and puts others’ needs before her own.

George Adamson is a protagonist in this story. George is a 50 year old thin man with white hair and a beard. He is the Senior Game Warden of the Northern Frontier District in Kenya (Africa). George feels bad when he realizes that the lion he shot (the lion had been killing villagers) has 3 two-week-old lion cubs. He knows that the cubs will die if he doesn’t help them. So, he brings them back home and helps take care of them. George travels to many different places as part of his job as a Game Warden. He is a hard-working man. He loves Elsa and likes to play with her. Elsa loves him and they often take naps together. When they have to release her to the wild, George is often the one who trains her. He is very dedicated to training her to survive in the wild. He is very caring and wants to do what is best for the animals and people he is protecting.

Elsa is a protagonist in this story. She is a lioness whose parents are killed when she was two-weeks-old. She is a tan/brown lion with brown eyes. She and her two sisters are brought to live with George and Joy. When they are older, her sisters are sent to live at the Rotterdam Zoo. Elsa stays with George and Joy until she is three years old. Elsa is smart, playful, energetic, and very affectionate to Joy, George, and Nuru. She grows more independent and self-sufficient and learns how to survive in the wild.

Nuru is a supporting character in this story. He is a thin black man and is about 20 years old. He is from Somali. He works for George and Joy in their garden. After the 3 baby cubs come to live with them, they make him guardian and lion-keeper in chief. He loves Elsa and likes to play games with her. He watches over and protects Elsa when George and Joy are away.

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The theme of this book is love, friendship, and perseverance. I came to understand this theme when I read about all of the things George and Joy did for Elsa. They loved her and had a hard time releasing her into the wild, but knew it was the right thing to do for Elsa. They knew that Elsa was born free and that she deserved to be free. They worked very hard preparing Elsa to be released back into the wild. George, Joy, and Elsa showed that lions do have feelings and are capable of trusting people.

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The setting takes place from 1956 - 1959 in the Northern Frontier Province of Kenya. It is a semi-arid thornbush savannah in East Africa. George and Joy live on the southern border of the Province, near Isiolo, in a town of about thirty people. The people who live in their town all work for the government and are responsible for watching over the territory. The area has not been civilized and the local tribes live the same way as their ancestors did. The nearest African market is about 50 miles away. The area is surrounded by wild life and there are rhinos, elephants, leopards, lions, antelopes, giraffes, monkeys, warthogs, and cheetahs nearby. The weather is warm (around 85-90 degrees) all year long.

This was the perfect setting for the story since Elsa was born wild and returned to the wild when she was older. The area was not civilized so she had a lot of room to play, roam, and hunt. This is also an area where other lions live. George and Joy are very happy living in this area with all the wildlife. They like the fact that this area isn’t civilized and that they can grow their own food and raise animals. They might not be able to do this if they lived somewhere else.

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The conflict in this story is Man vs Nature. Elsa and her two sisters are orphaned after their parents are shot. George does not want to leave the cubs to die and brings them home. George, Joy, and Nuru raise them. George and Joy decide to keep Elsa and send her two sisters to the Rotterdam Zoo. Unfortunately, George must take a leave of absence as part of the rules of his job as Game Warden (he has to take a leave of absence in a completely different climate). They tell him that he and Joy have three-months before they have to leave. George and Joy must teach Elsa how to survive in the wild before they leave Kenya.

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Book recommendation

I like this book because it shows the power of love and friendship. It is a great book for people who love animals. It is a sad yet happy adventure about two humans and a lioness. It shows that a wild and dangerous animal can learn to trust and love humans. What I like most about the book is the bond that you can see between George, Joy, Nuru, and Elsa. They take great care of Elsa and she trusts and loves them. They work hard to make sure that she can survive in the wild. The book also teaches a good lesson about how hard-work can pay off if you don’t give up.

Born Free Trailer