How do the writers Nadine Gordimer and Mildred Taylor explore prejudice and racism in different cultures?
Around the 50s and 60s racism and prejudice was nothing unusual. Though not everyone participated in it, they were affected by it in some way. The effects of racism in ‘Country Lovers’ and ‘The Gold Cadillac’ are different; in ‘The Gold Cadillac’ the victims are aware of what’s going on whereas in ‘Country Lovers’, Thebedi is quite ignorant of the way Paulus treats her. ‘The Gold Cadillac’ is written in first person making it far more intimate; it brings the reader closer to the events and the characters. The fact that it’s written from Lois’ point of view makes the reader empathise even more because she’s only a child. You can almost feel what she’s going through. Also it has the added advantage that the feelings being evoked are true because children say it like it is, they wouldn’t be biased. On the other hand it might not make the reader very sympathetic as it is just one person’s view throughout the whole story. The advantage that ‘Country Lovers’ has is that it’s written in the third person, it makes the reader omniscient. The reader knows what’s going on at all times but they can’t get as close to the characters as they might do with a first person narrative. Thebedi is not aware of the racist nature right in front of her in ‘Country Lovers’. Paulus bosses her around and she just “shook her head” to show that she obeys him like any loyal servant would – only it wasn’t just a servant-master relationship between the two. This could be because the scene is set in South Africa on a farm. Thebedi has “never seen” the towns or been anywhere accept the farm. She isn’t exposed to the real world and how serious the issue of racism had got so she doesn’t realize the effects it has on her. ‘The Gold Cadillac’ however is set in Toledo, North USA where people are not as ignorant to racism as they might be if they lived on a farm; they may have seen it in others...
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