Race / Ethnicity: Compare and Contrast
Although the topic of the certain short stories and poems have different themes and comprehension of what corresponding works that might have similar or different topics, will tell a person what racial background and ethnicities are represented in the short story “Country Lovers” and the poem “What It’s like to be a Black Girl”. Finding out whether the characters are the same, if the setting is different between the two, if the theme told outright or did one have to “think outside of the box” to determine its meaning will lead to what content the two have. If one literary work is a ballad or a play, if one is longer or shorter than the other one, if the tone is the same between the two works, if the language differs between the two works or if it is the same, and whether one works using metaphors, while the other uses similes, will give a person clues as to what the short story and the poem have as far as form, and style. The content of the short story of “Country Lovers” and the poem “What It’s like to be a Black Girl” have women who deal with unfairness for the reason of their race and has the main character or protagonist being a black female. Racism can be something that some people experience almost daily just like in the short story “Country Lovers “. The short story called “Country Lovers” was written by Nadine Gordimer in 1975” (Clugston, 2010). This short story is about a forbidden love between a young black girl named Thebedi and a young white boy named Paulus Eysendyck which took place on a South African farm. The main characters Paulus and Thebedi were raised together. The setting of the story takes place in mainly three areas, which would be the farm house where the boy lives, the river where they meet to hide their relationship, and the village where the girl lives. The settings in the story help my understanding of the theme because it gives me a distinct awareness as to how the social classes play a part in the prohibition of love. The boy lives in a beautiful home that is described to be of a high social class. In the text the home is described as, “The kitchen was it lively thoroughfare, with servants, food supplies, begging cats and dogs, pots boiling over, washing being damped for ironing, and the big deep-freezer the missus had ordered from town, bearing a crocheted mate and a vase of plastic iris (Clugston, 2010)”. This quote from the text helps me imagine a well-to-do home for the boy. Paulus Eysendyck was the child of the farm owner and Thebedi’s dad worked for Mr. Eysendyck on his farm. Paulus (a white boy) and Thebedi (a black girl) played together and spent much of their youthful days with each other. As time passed they began to grow up and the closeness between the two also grew apart. They both knew that they could not be together openly. All the way through this short story there are many extraordinary consequences. The first takes place when the narrator talks about Paulus going away to school “This usefully happens at the same time when the author states about the age of twelve or thirteen; so that by the time early adolescence is reached, the black children are making along with the bodily changes common to all, an easy transition to adult forms of address, beginning to call their old playmates missus and baasie little master” (Clugston, 2010). However, the attachment formed between them as children is still there. Both Paulus’ and Thebedi’s parents never forbid them from seeing one another but there was always this unspoken knowledge that they knew it was wrong because they always seemed to be hiding the fact that they did spend a lot of time with one another. An example of this would be when Paulus came home from school and brought Thebedi a gift. “She told her father the missus had given them to her as a reward for some works she had done-it was true she sometimes was called to help out in the farmhouse. She told the girls...
References: Clugston, R. W. (2010). Country Lovers, Nadine Gordimer. In Journey into literature (chapter 3)
Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUENG125.10.2/sections/h3.2.
Clugston, R. W. (2010). Poems for Reflection. In Journey into literature (chapter 12 section 2).
Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUENG125.10.2/sections/sec12.2.
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