FISH OUT OF WATER
FLORENCE KHOLIWE SEDIKANE
Fish out of water
Ivan Vladislavic is a South African born writer. He first published this short story “Courage” in the year 1996, two years after the new political party was put in place and democracy evolved (Vladislavic, 1996). In this essay I seek to critically examine the characteristics of My Old Becker, a man who arrives in a black community and is alienated because of his white skin colour. I argue about how his way of dressing, his behaviour and how other characters in the story portray him contribute to express the theme expectation versus reality. Nikita Koloff (2007) once stated that “your habits determine your character and your character your destiny. Your habits are either the best of servants or the worst of masters“. In accordance with Nikita Koloff’s words, I will outline My Old Becker’s emotions, reactions and actions. My aim with this essay is to understand the effects that racial segregation produced in the village of Lufafa at that period in time. My Old Becker is a “white man” (Vladislavic, 1996:115), who arrives in a black community that goes by the name of Lufafa. He has been sent by the government of the people, to sculpt a man who presents a picture of courage (Vladislavic, 1996:122). When the people of Lufafa realise that a white man is going to build the honorary statue, they are really shocked. Firstly, it is because they do not approve nor did they expect a white man to be a representative of the new government, as it seems like the previous one did not allow them any “collaboration with the enemy” (Vladislavic, 1996:117), the “enemy” being white people. So because of that the people find it hard to accept a person who is of foreign nature to them, whom they are not used to seeing in their habitat and also who reminds them of what they are trying to forget since in him they see a representation of the old political party that used to suppress them because of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document