The Guilt

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The Guilt

Characterization of Lilian Thurgood
Living in a neighborhood with poor families and beggars is not always easy. Especially when you are white, and white people are known to be narrow-minded. Lilian Thurgood is a retired white woman in her good age. She lives alone with two threatening dogs. They have been trained by her late Husband. She lives in a house enclosed with huge walls and a strong locked gate. This indicates that she lives in fear. But this was not unusual at the time. The white South African people were living with guilt, because of the past racial segregations, where the black race was seen as the primitive race. Everyday black people are knocking on Lilian’s gate, either asking for food or money. Lilian is upset about this thing, why does she have this guilt, why is giving money away a normal procedure? One day by letting a stranger inside she departed from her usual routine. The young man, who had knocked on the gate, asked for money and was offered five rand by Lilian. He insisted on working for the money. Lilian was frightened to death, but still tenacious enough not to show it directly. She even kept the house door open when going inside to get the ringing phone. She really wanted to trust him. P.128 line 23: ‘’I’ll ask my husband for the money’’ Yet this quotation shows her fear. She says that she has a husband, which is meant to scare the ‘’potential thief’’ and give her this false security. After he had worked for almost an hour, he demanded ten rand, trying to scam the old woman. In a blink of an eye Lilian turned offensive! She ordered her two strong dogs to attack the young man, and she quickly went inside to get her revolver. Lilian is thrown into this desperate situation, the worst case scenario! She finds out how little it takes to pull the trigger. And what could she have done without the gun and the dogs? Something had probably gone awfully wrong. Lilian feels alone most of the time. She is an old widow, and has...
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