English IV- Honors
Culture at its Best
“Piccanin,” shouted Teddy, “get out of my way!” And he raced in circles around the black child until he was frightened, and fled back to the bush.” This scene from Doris Lessings “No Witchcraft for Sale” depicts a child being affected by the results of apartheid, a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race, in South Africa. Similar to segregation in America, apartheid separated the blacks and white into two different classes; the blacks being of lower class and whites having high rank in society. Gideon, a cook in Doris Lessing’s short story and the main character, served the Farquar family all of his life. Even though this separation deemed whites as superior, this separation occurred because of cultural differences. As the story begins the audience is introduced to the Farquar’s family who has just brought their first child, Teddy, into the world. This family, the bosses or the masters lived on a compound and represent the oppressors. This family has a cook servant named Gideon who represents the oppressed. Gideon and the Farquar’s young child Teddy have a strong bond from the beginning. Gideon acted as a father in many ways to the Farquar’s child. Their bond was so extraordinary in this story that is set in a time in South Africa when blacks were treated inferior to whites. Though it was evident Gideon and Teddy’s relationship was real it did not prevent the elements of what racism teaches. Little time was spent by Gideon caring for his family or even being there for his son. Gideon played tirelessly with Teddy catching him when he fell as he learned to walk and tossing him up in the air. Gideon’s son could only watch from the edge of the bush and gaze in awe of the young white boy his same age. Each had a curiosity for the other. Teddy once put out his hand in curiosity to touch the face and hair of a black boy. Gideon’s bond is ironic because...