An Analysis of the Pickup by Nadine Gordimer

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Nadine Gordimer, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, has always been one of South Africa’s leading literary voices. She is one of the most important strivers who used their intelligence and qualifications to fight against the apartheid movement in South Africa which was a racial system, based on total segregation between the whites and the blacks. Gordimer uses her novels and stories to explain the aspects of this system and to raise her voice in protest against it. A case in point is her latest novel “the pickup” which not only explores the theme of racial segregation but also deals with many other themes such as love, family relationships, money, gender, sex, immigration…etc. and which brings to light several inspiring moral ambiguities. « The pickup » is a love story of a kind in which Nadine Gordimer tells about two characters from completely different social backgrounds and with fully dissimilar convictions and ambitions. Julie is a daughter of an affluent man who is escaping from her hereditary welfare and likes better modesty and simplicity. She has picked up a dark-skinned undocumented man from an Arabic country who is in search of a better life in order to support his family. Admittedly, the novel is divided into two parts. The first part sheds light on how they met and the experience they had lived in Johannesburg before the authorities required him to leave the country, while the second part is concerned with their shift to his native country and the consequences that come out of it. In this essay, I will try to provide a detailed commentary on the opening of the second part of the story and the role that it plays in the novel. Just by reading the first sentence of the second part, we feel the indication that unlike the first part, this one is going to be about Abdu and that we will discover his identity and his culture, whilst he was anonymous, and depreciated in South Africa. Now he is home, he has a name, an identity and an existence....
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