12 Descriptive Essay Topics on Life in Kenya Based on “A Primate’s Memoir”

Topics and ideas
Posted on November 17, 2015

The descriptive essay is one that is a more creative piece of academic writing, rather than a scientific one. In many cases your job is to write about what science or facts might tell you explicitly, or to analyze intent or purpose. But with the descriptive piece, your job is to describe something, someone, or someplace in vivid detail, utilizing all of the senses to create such a visceral picture that your reader feels as though they are there with you, experiencing the topic of your piece.

That being said, when you are describing life in Kenya, that means you must take some of the aspects from this book and use them as a sincere depiction of daily activities, of the life of the primates or of an action that is taken during the day for the primate. This is where you are free to use your best diction and economy to really bring to life what it is like in Kenya, something that you can do using only the information provided in this book. While many professors will allow students more flexibility in their writing topic for creative pieces such as this, when you are asked to write a descriptive essay on life in Kenya based on this book, you do not need to have lived in Kenya in order to reproduce the daily activities, the smell, the sights, the sounds, or just one item within that world. You can select one finer aspect of the daily life in Kenya and use it as the focal point for your descriptive piece.

When you are asked to write a descriptive piece about life in Kenya, it is best to incorporate real quotes from the book or to use the direct copy from the book as a guideline for writing your own version. Remember that this is a more creative piece and as such, you have more freedom in terms of your organization. You might also want to include facts about the brain and stress to support the stresses in daily life, such as the following:

  1. Stress is something which takes place in the cells within the hippocampus, the area of the brain which is central to memory and learning. When the body experience of stress there’s an increase in dopamine in the brain which leaves the body feeling alert and simulation. The brain responds differently to chronic stress however such as regular monetary concerns or job insecurity.
  2. Chronic episodes of short term stress will alter the hippocampal cell function. With prolonged stress the hippocampal cells start to die. There is a loss of hippocampal volume as well as the disruption to memory and learning for people who suffer from stress long term.
  3. There are key differences between short-term and long-term stress. Short term stress even in small doses are acceptable for the body, in humans and primates, but a regular basis of long-term stress can become a chronic disorder something which can damage your entire system. If you have an increase levels of cortisol for a prolonged. In time it can reduce your immune system and decrease the amount of brain cells you have which impairs your memory.
  4. Cortisol levels on a regular and prolong the basement will literally kill the brain cells damaging the hippocampus and causing premature brain that aging. The cortisol released will travel into the brain and will naturally find to the receptors inside of your neurons within the cytoplasm. During the short term this helps the brain to cope with all of the lights are in situations but if this happens over the long term it can literally excite the brain cells to that.
  5. Chronic stress is also related to depression because of the increase release of cortisol. The changes in serotonin are a secondary change to the stress response and are not be immediate causes of depression.
  6. A neurotransmitter is a chemical substance inside of the brain which is released at the end of each nerve fiber as soon as a nerve impulse arrives. Neurotransmitters function of the brain chemical which communicates information from the different nerve cells throughout the body and the brain.
  7. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter or a chemical which is responsible for transmitting different signals between all the nerves in the brain. Very few neurons actually create dopamine which makes it a very special neurotransmitter.
  8. Short term stress is a mechanism which is designed to kick in when an individual perceives that they might be under a threat. This type of stress was a survival mechanism utilize during life-threatening situations.
  9. In the brain once stress is recognized and immediate nerve signal is sent down the spinal cord to the adrenal gland. This signal tells the adrenal glands to release adrenaline. Once adrenaline is released it increases the amount of sugar which is in your blood, it increases the heart rate, and it increases the blood pressure.
  10. Long term stress will decrease the release of dopamine in the brain which is something that decreases the ability of the individual to enjoy pleasure and is also something which increases the risk of depression among the same individual. Chronic stress on a regular basis will lead to permanent changes in the amygdala which is the area of the brain responsible for fear and anxiety. It will also change the frontal cortex which is responsible for planning and for impulse control. These changes can lead to poor decision making an increased anxiety on a regular basis.
  11. Genes do have an influential role in behavior and genes work in tandem with environment that influence behavior and characteristics. More favorable environment and your genetic chromosomes will influence to handle stress, especially if you have more of one neurotransmitter than others in your genetic makeup.
  12. When a stress response takes place many things happen in the body. All non-essential body functions will stop and all energy is diverted to the brain and the muscles. The heart will be faster which increases the blood pressure and allows for energy rich blood to reach all of the muscle.

These facts will truly help you to write a descriptive essay on “A Primate’s Memoir” because they are consistent and essential. But if it doesn’t seem enough, you can use topics on life in Kenya that are based on the same book. And don’t forget to use our guidelines on producing a perfect descriptive essay. Use those in your paper and create excellent writing.


Baker, Jack, Allen Brizee, and Elizabeth Angeli. “Essay writing.” Retrieved April 25 (2013): 2014.
Crossley, Scott A., Laura K. Allen, and Danielle S. McNamara. “A Multi-Dimensional analysis of essay writing.” Multi-Dimensional Analysis, 25 years on: A tribute to Douglas Biber 60 (2014): 197.
Kirtzner, Laurie, and Stephen Mandell. “Patterns for college writing.” (2015).
Pennisi, Elizabeth. “Baboon watch.” Science 346.6207 (2014): 292-295.
Redman, Peter, and Wendy Maples. Good essay writing: a social sciences guide. Sage  Publications, 2011.
Sapolsky, Robert M. A primate’s memoir: a neuroscientist’s unconventional life among the baboons. Simon and Schuster, 2007.
Terborgh, John. Five New World primates: a study in comparative ecology. Princeton University Press, 2014.

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