No Witchcraft for Sale

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Analyze of No witchcraft for sale by Doris Lessing

Why did Gideon call Teddy “Little Yellow Head”?

First of all, he called him this, because Teddy’s hair is fair and light, like nothing he had ever seen. He also gives him a native name, to show him the loyalty he gives him.

What happened to Teddy in the beginning of this story?
One day, Teddy had been out, driving on his scooter. He had gone in to the bushes, where a snake had spat in his eyes, almost making him blind. Without doubting, Gideon had ran out in the bushes, and brought back a plant which was used as a cure.

How does the cultural conflict influence Gideon’s actions in No Witchcraft for sale?

Gideon - not unlike Teddy who does it out of social influence though - starts to distance himself from the family he once almost felt a friendship with. He makes a territorial mark and lets his employers know by his actions that he has a limit to his loyalty. His loyalty lies with his country.

Why doesn’t Gideon reveal his cure?
Because his knowledge of native medicin is about all his people "own", and not yet exploited by the white people. He knows revealing it will make his people poorer and more exploited by the white industry. And lastly because he feels betrayed by the family - they have a somewhat friendship-like relationship and he cares very much for the kid, Teddy.

Themes and subjects

Racism. Africa. Exploitation. Colonialism. Roots. The master/servant relationship. Prejudice. How race/environment/prejudice can influence a person when growing up.

How do the Farquars react when the scientist tells them why he is interested in Gideon’s cure? They at first react by feeling very pleased and proud - as if they have participated in creating something good for the community. AS soon as the scientist mentions the economy aspect of the discovery, they start to feel uncomfortable - their religious belief means they feel ashamed of thinking in economy terms when what has...
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