What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl by Patricia Smith
Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer.
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Corey King
October 15, 2012
When comparing and contrasting the poem What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl by Patricia Smith with the short story Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer. The poem and the short story are both great examples of the difficulty of life between different ethnic backgrounds. The Poem What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl by Patricia Smith is more recent than the short story Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer they are written during different time frames and their stories are unique within their time frame.
Both the poem and the short story discus love or the feeling of love the short story states, “One summer afternoon when there was water flowing there and it was very hot she waded in as they used to do when they were children, her dress bunched modestly and tucked into the legs of her pants. The schoolgirls he went swimming with at dams or pools on neighbouring farms wore bikinis but the sight of their dazzling bellies and thighs in the sunlight had never made him feel what he felt now when the girl came up the bank and sat beside him, 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; he did with her what he had done that time in the storeroom at the wedding, and this time it was so lovely, so lovely, he was surprised . . . and she was surprised by it, too—he could see in her dark face that was part of the shade, with her big dark eyes, shiny as soft water, watching him attentively: as she had when they used to huddle over their teams of mud oxen, as she had when he told her about detention weekends at school. They went to the river–bed often through those summer holidays. They met just before the light went, as it does quite quickly, and each returned home with the dark—she to her mother's hut, he to the farmhouse—in time for the evening meal. He did not tell her about school or town any more. She did not ask questions any longer. He told her, each time, when they would meet again. Once or twice it was very early in the morning; the lowing of the cows being driven to graze came to them where they lay, dividing them with unspoken recognition of the sound read in their two pairs of eyes, opening so close to each other.” (pg 45 Clugston) The poem What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl by Patricia Smith states, “it's finally having a man reach out for you then caving in around his fingers.” (pg 267 Clugston) These statements show that both of these literary works talk about love and the feeling of what love is like or what kind of love is wanted. Even though both these pieces are talking about ethnicity any person wants to have these feeling no matter what the race or ethnicity a person is. Both statements are saying that the feelings of being wanted and cared about are strong and important during a woman’s life not just a black woman’s life.
The short story Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer says, “It was in one of these that she and the farmer's son stayed together whole nights almost: she had to get away before the house servants, who knew her, came in at dawn. There was a risk someone would discover her or traces of her presence if he took her to his own bedroom, (pg 46 Clugston) this passage of the short story is talking about making love and or having sex. What It’s Like to Be a Black Girl by Patricia Smith says, “it's learning to say fuck with grace but learning to fuck without it” (pg 267 Clugston). Once again this statement is talking about having sex and possibly making love. The poem is a much broader example by using the work fuck has many different meanings, “to have sexual intercourse with. To treat unfairly or harshly, to act stupidly or carelessly; cause trouble; mess up. The...
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