Compare and Contrast What It Is Like to Be a Black Girl and Country Lovers

Topics: Black people, Human skin color, Race Pages: 7 (2246 words) Published: July 23, 2013
RUNNING HEAD: Lovers and To be A Black Girl

Literary Comparison:
“Country Lovers” and “What It’s Like to Be A Black Girl ENG 125: Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Amber Carpenter


Lovers and To Be A Black Girl

In literature, we find stories designed to portray human life and action through some characters who, by their words, action and reaction, convey certain messages for the purpose of education, information and entertainment. It is impossible to find a work of literature that excludes the attitudes, morale and values of the society, since no writer has been brought up completely unexposed to the world around him. What writers of literature do is to transport the real-life events in their society into fiction and present it to the society as a mirror with which people can look at themselves and make amends where necessary. Thus, literature is not only a reflection of the society but also serves as a corrective mirror in which members of the society can look at themselves and find the need for positive change. ( Prejudice, Inner struggles and bondage are issues that we see in both of these pieces of the literary works. With this paper I will present a short story and a poem that deals with issues on race. “Country Lovers” is a story of forbidden love between a black woman and the son of her white masters. It was a story of a love that bore out of childhood romance that blossomed to adulthood until the harmless flirtation lead to sexual curiosity. “What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl” is a poem about young black girl’s transition into black woman hood at a time where both being a black girl and a black woman was not as welcomed.


Lovers and To Be A Black Girl

Nadine Gordimer was born into a well-off family in Springs, Transvaal, an East Rand mining town outside Johannesburg in 1923. Her father was a Jewish jeweler originally from Latvia and her mother of British descent. From her early childhood Gordimer witnessed how the white minority increasingly weakened the rights of the black majority (South African History Online, 2013). Nadine Gordimer is the author of the short story “County Lovers” and in all her literature; Gordimer explores race relations in South Africa. (The Georgia Review, 1995). . Patrica Smith is an African American author who was born in 1955. Patricia Smith is a poet, teacher, performance artist and author. (Academy Of American Poets, 2013) Her literary work reflects every day struggles for African American men and women. Her poem “What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl” displays the work of the struggle of what a young black girl feels about the color of her skin. Nadine Gordimer’s County Lovers tells the story of white skinned Afrikaner boy who becomes friends with black girl who just happens to be the daughter of the workers on his family’s farm. In this short story we see that Paulus Eysendyck (the young boy) and Thedebi (the young girl) develop feelings for one another. During the era that this story is based in, it was forbidden for black and white children to become closely acquainted. Paulus and Thedebi cared for one another, and although both of them are aware of the wrong they are doing, a relationship still continues. The trouble was Paulus Eysendyke did not seem to realize that Thedebi was now simply one of the crowd of farm children down at the kraal, recognizable in his sisters’ old


Lovers and To Be A Black Girl

clothes. (Clugston, 2010). Paulus appreciated Thedebi’s dark skin. “the drops of water beading off her dark legs the only points of light in the earth-smelling deep shade, They were not afraid of one another, they had known one another always” (Clugston, 2010). Sex between the two has happened before, which proves...

References: Nadine gordimer. The Georgia Review, (Spring 1995) 49, 272. Retrieved from
Jablonski, N. (2012). The struggle to overcome racism. New Scientist, 215(2880), 26-29. Retrieved from
"About Patrica Smith." About Patrica Smith
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