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Basic Trope: A character embraces an unfamiliar culture he finds himself immersed in.

  • Straight: Alice, Never Accepted In Her Hometown, is Reassigned to Antarctica, and within a week is wearing the local clothes and well on the way to speaking the lingo.
  • Exaggerated: Alice steps off the plane speaking fluent Antarctican and greeting the natives by name, even though she's never set foot there before.
  • Justified: Alice has been an Antarctophile since a young age, studying their culture and dreaming of living there one day.
  • Inverted: Bob was born on a remote Antarctican research post, but when he goes on holiday to New York he takes to it like a duck to water.
  • Subverted: Alice has always boasted of her knowledge of Antarctican culture, ordering for her friends at all the cool Antarctic restaurants and musing about how they do everything better there. Two hours after getting off the plane, she's lost and confused and cold and hates the place with a passion.
  • Double Subverted: ...but it turns out that was just a combination of jetlag and cultural readjustment - once she's used to the place, you could mistake her for a native.
  • Parodied: Charlie gets fully kitted up in authentic Arabian dress... just to visit his local ethnic food store.
  • Deconstructed: Alice tries to fit in, but the locals see her as a tourist and her own peers see her as a poser. Her budding romance with a local is frowned upon by their family and her Mighty Whitey act doesn't win her any friends either.
  • Reconstructed: Alice makes a heartfelt speech to the locals that even if she wasn't born there, she's made friends and set up a home, and although she might never understand their culture as well as a native she can still be part of the community.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice has never fitted in at home, and always goes on about how much she loves Antarctica. Her boss sends her there, and she regrets it as soon as her feet touch the ground. After a week she's loving it, feeling right at home... but it turns out the locals are all laughing at her clumsy attempts to imitate their culture. She falls in love with a native, and uses her Western knowledge to sort out the locals' troubles - and they hate her all the more for imposing her values on their traditional way of life.
  • Averted: Alice goes to Antarctica, but always sees herself as a visiting outsider.
  • Enforced: Want a story in an exotic locale with an identifiable (read: white) hero, but Mighty Whitey is unfashionable? Tone it down a notch by making said hero a big fan of the native culture, who chooses to stay when the story's done.
  • Lampshaded: "What do you mean, you're from Brooklyn? I thought you'd grown up out here..."
  • Invoked: Alice wants the locals to trust her as she scouts out their village for mining opportunities, so she pretends to be falling for their way of life.
  • Exploited: Alice notices that the Antarcticans are in awe of her, and "manipulat[es] the messianic impulses within [their] culture" [1] to win their trust so she can help them.
  • Defied: "Don't worry, I'm not going to end up marrying one of them and running away to be a penguin farmer."
  • Discussed: "Alice won't be coming back. Give her a week, she'll think she's one of them"
  • Conversed: "How come the Mistrustful Natives always go straight to accepting the Visiting Foreigner like an old friend? You'd think there'd be a pretty long period in between where they thought of him as a slightly odd vague acquaintance..."

Back to Going Native, where you came from! You ain't one of us Playing With A Tropers, and you never will be...



Notes

  1. Frank Herbert, on how Lawrence of Arabia inspired Dune
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