ENG 225 Introduction to Literature
A Story of Forbidden Love
The short story written by South African author Nadine Gordimer entitled, “Country Lovers” takes place in South Africa. The story deals with the consequences of a forbidden love between a young black girl and a white boy during the Apartheid rule in Africa. It is clear from the beginning of this short story that the theme is centered on inter-racial relationships. During the Apartheid rule in South Africa, in the 1970’s, segregation was enforced by the government. As a reader we are engaged by this short story from a sociological/psychological perspective. Our scope of engagement in the story is not only determined by the language used, actions taken, and the views that the author presents, but by the limitless boundaries of our minds (Clugston, R.2010). The settings as well as the strong characters portrayed contribute greatly to the forbidden inter-racial relationship theme of the short story.
The story unfolds over a period of years and details the relationship between Thebedi, a young black girl and Paulus Eysendyck, a young white boy whose family owns the farm where Thebedi lives and works with her family. They grow up together as friends which blossoms into love when they are older. This is implied by the thoughts and actions provided about each character throughout the story. The narrator also clearly illustrates the division that exists between black and white children, especially where education is concerned. The lives of these characters show the reader the very different worlds each is from and what they are subjected to with regard to privileges of race. Thebedi only gets a very minimal education while Paulus has the opportunity to go to high school and college. Even though many racial barriers are in place to keep them apart, it does not keep them from falling in love during Paulus’ last year in...