Welcome Table

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The theme in a story is associated with an idea that lies behind the story. Every story narrows a broad underlying idea, shapes it in a unique way, and makes the underlying idea concrete. That's how theme is created. In other words, the theme in a story is a representation of the idea behind the story. (Clugston, 2010) This paper will compare and contrast the theme of the stories Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer and The Welcome Table by Alice Walker. The first story which is Country Lovers which is about a boy named Paulus Eysendyck, who is a white farmer’s son, and Thebedi, the black daughter of one of the farm workers. As children, Paulus and Thebedi played together, but when they are teenagers they began a sexual relationship. They have tender feelings for each other, even though their relationship is ultimately doomed. They continue a relationship throughout the years when Paul comes home on visits. Thebedi later marries Njabulo, a kind young black man who has loved her for years. Two months later, Thebedi gives birth to a light-skinned child. Although Thebedi is pregnant when she marries it is not considered scandalous because men in this culture often insist on finding out before marriage if their women are barren. The child’s light skin, however, reveals who the father really is. Although Njabulo knows the baby is not his, he treats the child as his own and buys things that the baby needs. When Paulus comes to visit he learns that Thebedi has married and has a light-skinned child. He panics about the child and goes to visit Thebedi. When he sees the baby he knows that it is his because it had “his own hazel eyes”. He then asks her to give the baby to someone else to raise, "Don't take it out. Stay inside. Can't you take it away somewhere? You must give it to someone—" but she does not want to. Two days later, he goes back to Thebedi’s and ask to see the child again. Waiting outside the hut, Thebedi hears soft groaning sounds, and that night the baby...
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