March 28, 2011
Literature and Life
The magic of reading is that it brings you to another place and feeling. At times it can make you smile with character, and other times make you cry with him. Sometimes it may even allow the reader to identify with the characters. Reality can often be a lot like a piece of literature, in that a person may be going through the exact same thing, or something similar, and be feeling the same way. It is effortless to view the tough and unspoken racism demonstrated in Nadine Gordimer’s “Country Lovers” as well as how the girl feels in Patricia Smith’s What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl (For Those of You Who Aren’t). In both readings you get a sense of the hardship the characters faced because of racism, the things that people may do or allow to happen because it is so hard.
Racism is something that we see, hear about, and maybe even experience in our everyday lives. It may be something that we do not speak about, just like in the short story “Country Lovers. “ The main characters Paul us and Thebedi were raised together since they were kids, Paulus was a white boy and Thebedi, a black girl. They played together and spent most of their childhood days with one another. As time goes by and they begin to grow up and the distance between the two also grow apart. However, the bond created between them as children is still there. Both Paulus’ and Thebedi’s parents never forbad them from seeing each other but there was always this unspoken knowledge that they knew it was wrong because they always seemed to be hiding the fact that they did spend time together. An example of this would be when Paulus came home from school and brought Thebedi a gift “She told her father the missus had given them to her as a reward for some works she had done-it was true she sometimes was called to help out in the farmhouse. She told the girls in the kraal that she had a sweetheart nobody...