Country Loves Theme
ENG125: Intro to Literature
December 8, 2013
It is extremely important when writing a story to have a noticeable theme. A theme is something that portrays what the real meaning of the story is, and the message that the author is trying to get across. According to our text, “theme in a story is a representation of the idea behind the story” (Clugston, 2010). Without a theme in a story, it would just be words written without any real goal in mind. A good theme in a story can jump out and grab the reader and keep them engaged. Such a theme is present in “Country Lovers” by Nadine Gordimer. The theme in this story is that of the boundaries of racism. This particular theme is a much visited and powerful theme in literature, but few have done it as well as Nadine Gordimer has in this piece. The plot of the story itself actually helps us to identify the theme in this story of an interracial love affair. A rich white boy, Paulus, forms a childhood relationship with Thebedi, the black daughter of a man hired to work on Paulus’ father’s farm. The two youngsters play together as children, and as they get older begin a love affair which continues all the way into their early adult years. Because of the racial differences of the two lovers, their love affair must be kept a secret, never to be spoken of or observed by others. The fact that their friendship is even frowned upon shows us that racism builds walls in our lives that are never supposed to be climbed or broken down. Later in the story, after the two socially forbidden lovers had been on a break from their affair, Paulus discovers that Thebedi has born a child from their past love. Due to the social restrictions and boundaries put on them because of the colors of their skin, Paulus murders his child so that nobody can ever find out about the past love that he once shared with Thebedi. The idea that others may find out that he had fathered a biracial child...
References: Bruton, F. Brinley. (2013). Mandela 's visible legacy: South Africa 's interracial couples no longer need to hide. http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/14/18928429-mandelas-visible-legacy-south-africas-interracial-couples-no-longer-need-to-hide.
Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Nowell, Angela. International Journal of Psychology. Jun2012 Supplement, Vol. 47, p657-661. 5p. DOI: 10.1080/00207594.2012.709124.
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