The Suite

Topics: Nelson Mandela, Short story, Johannesburg Pages: 1 (258 words) Published: May 21, 2012
Suit' by Can Themba is centred on a man called Philemon who discovers that his long term wife Matilda has cheated on him, despite his personal opinion that they were happily married. After he discovers her infidelity he makes her carry around her lover's suit with her everywhere that she goes. He also forces her wife to treat the suit as if it was a person visiting their home. Due to his humiliation and cruelty towards his wife she eventually dies of a broken heart.

This story is often used in English examinations in schools across the country. The author, whose full name is Daniel Canodoise 'Can' Themba, was a South African writer who died in 1968 and produced a bulk of short stories. He was born in Marabastad and attended Fort Hare University College where he received a first class English degree and a diploma in teaching.

He wrote the majority of his work in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, South Africa in which he honed his short story writing skills and won a contest in the urban magazine Drum. He eventually got a job at the magazine which focused mainly on investigative journalism and aimed to identify the realities and injustices of apartheid. He moved to Swaziland to work as a teacher but eventually had his books banned in South Africa due to being labelled a 'statutory communist'. His most famous story is arguably 'The Suit' but he was also successful with Deep cuts: Graphic adaptations of stories, The Will to Die and The World of Can Themba.
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