Country Lovers by Nadia Gordimer


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This is a paper that I wrote for my literature 22 class.
This includes a thesis statement and three supporting arguments.
If you, my readers, will download this and/or copy this, please do acknowledge me. Don't just ctrl c + ctrl , just thank me here, either through favorite-ing this or liking this or just by thanking me here, that would be really enough. Thank you. ;)

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Country Lovers by Nadia Gordimer

  1. 1. Country loversThesis Statement:Racial prejudice against the black people was very rampant which caused apartheid and racialinequality.Supporting Arguments 1. Disparities experienced by people of colour. 2. Forbidden love between a black and white 3. The immoral killing of the innocent baby Right at the beginning of the story we found out the drawback between the two races.When they were still children, they were indifferent to their racial differences but soon as theygrew up, the sense of superiority creeps unto them and they stopped playing with the blackchildren, “the farm children play together, when they are small; but once the white children goaway to school they soon don’t play together anymore even in the holidays”. Now this tells ushow the society back then worked. Gordimer here is referring to the apartheid, more commonlyknown as racial segregation. This was actually passed into a law in South Africa where itlegalized white supremacy over the non-whites, the blacks, the coloured, the natives and theasians to maintain and establish strongly their dominance in the economic, political and socialsector or systems. Now in the story, we can safely say that the major cause of discrimination isthe difference of their colour; whether one is black, coloured or white. The fate of being blackback then was so pitiful. You (assuming you are black) are going to be treated as if you are a
  2. 2. disease that needed be separated from everyone else. Everything was almost separated, fromschools to basic facilities like comfort rooms and places to be standing on, places to visit, placesto eat, places to buy, places to shop, places to live, places to worship and places to hang out with.Medical care was also separated and the general services provided for all the citizens were notfair. If you are black, then you are going to have a service inferior to the whites. It was like youare a second class citizen in your own land. (the fact that the whites in South Africa were justBritish colonizers) Now what we meant when we said their superiority complex creeps untothem is that they were influenced by how their society worked and so they developed this senseof being superior over the colored individuals, especially over the blacks. At first, we assumethat the children were just being children. Children in their primordial state still do not have thegrasp of feeling hatred over racial differences. These are too deep for them as of the moment. Itis in the text that the children when they were small played together regardless of color, but oncethey went to school where they get their “education”, they are now subject to influences that willeither make them a better person or not. Back then, racism was so huge; so huge that they passedapartheid as a law. They were influenced of how the society view the blacks as slaves and notpar on their level. And we assume these are one of the reasons why they do not play with theblacks anymore. They feel that the blacks are so inferior and that they must not be mingling withthem. The blacks were mostly labourers and slaves in the big farm houses of the white people. Infact, Thebedi, the main character in the story, and her husband, Njabulo, were farm workers onPaulus Eysendyck’s family farm and it was just a matter of time where they had to address theirchildhood friends a missus and baasie meaning little masters.
  3. 3. Now the story gets to a point where back then it was considered a social taboo that madepeople cringe when they catch something like this was going on – love between black and whiteindividuals or simply an interracial love. Thebedi, a black young lady, and Paulus Eysendyck, son of her white masters, grew uptogether and were childhood friends. As they were growing up and coping up with their ownlives –Paulus had to go to a boarding school and endure all the societal influences and pressureswhile Thebedi had to work hard as one of their workers – a sense of intimate friendship grewalong with them too. Although they now lived very different lives but they still didn’t forget eachother. They exchanged presents for each other; “he brought home for Thebedi a painted box hehad made in his wood-work class” while she gave him a “a bracelet she had made of thin brasswire and the grey-and-white beans of the castor-oil crop his father cultivated.”But their fondnessfor each other had to be kept secret. They had to hide it within themselves because the societywas not in favor and it was illegal of having a relationship with different race. So, they neededto lie and hide their growing relationship from the public. “They went to the river-bed oftenthrough those summer holidays. They met just before the light went, as it does quite quickly andeach returned home with in the dark-she to her mother’s hut, he to the farmhouse – in time forthe evening meal”. In this statement it signifies no freedom, they both try to sneak and hide justfor them to see each other. They still need to find a time seeing each other, and look for a hidingplace which no one could see them. This tells us how hard it was for them to express themselvesfor their love was forbidden just because they did not have the same color. But love, no matter how steep a mountain is or how narrow a path is, always finds a way tobe expressed. Thebedi and Paulus were a young couple who were wild and daring. They didwhat the society programmed them as wrong. Their love was forbidden so they really could not
  4. 4. do anything but to hide. “He told her, each time, when they would meet again” because theycannot be seen in public together. Now their friendship developed into something more than that.Something that led to led to intimacy that joined them into one. Their actions had to to haveconsequences and so Thebedi eventually got pregnant. Now, this brings us to our third supporting argument; The immoral killing of the baby isan act of a propagation of hatred and ignorance. Paulus became paranoid upon knowing Thebedigot a child. He knew that it was his baby. He actually got speechless the first few seconds whenhe saw the baby because right from there he immediately knew it was his. “The infant was verylight and did not quickly grow darker as most African babies do” and so by this statement fromthe text we assume that the baby must be brown or somewhere halfway black and white and it isquite obvious why he got speechless was because his instinct was right, that it was his baby withThebedi when they did it by the riverbank. “He struggled for a moment with a grimace of tears,anger and self-pity” and we think he got really nervous this time and panicky of realizing whattrouble they are now in. He was even reassuring by asking Thebedi “"You havent been near thehouse with it?" and then he even said statements that were obviously not properly thought of like“don’t take it out. Stay inside. Can’t you take it away somewhere? You must give it tosomeone.” His words tell us how he really got so nervous and panicked and could not thinkproperly. And then he finally said, "Ill see what I will do. I dont know." Then the next coupleof days he visited again and the very next day in the morning, the baby died. The baby was dugup by the police, soon after the baby’s burial, to investigate the cause of its death. Murder chargewas brought against Paulus because Thebedi reported that Paulus murdered the baby by “pouringliquid into the babys mouth”. She could have done something but she was helpless and “he hadthreatened to shoot her if she told anyone.” In our point of view, Paulus murdered the baby.
  5. 5. Paulus lied in front of the whole court that he had not murdered the baby therefore, he wasdeclared, “not guilty” by the law. This shows how biased their judicial system is towards thewhite people and against the black people. Although there was really a strong suspicion thatPaulus did commit murder but we cannot also blame their judicial system entirely because in factit was Thebedi who drew back from what she said a year before she testified for her baby’sdeath. There are a lot of issues and possibilities we can raise here why she pulled back herstatement, one is that maybe her life got threatened that if she continues to fight she will bemurdered. Another one is that, maybe she just felt so weak and helpless that it was of no usefighting him because they are in control and they have power. Third is, maybe they paid her ahuge sum of money just to quit the charges up she brought. And another one is that maybeThebedi and along with Paulus, was afraid of being socially discriminated if the people and thegeneral public will know they got a baby. But among all the other possibilities, it was stillThebedi who will suffer in the end for she committed perjury because her statements wereinconsistent, it was either she lied on the first trial or the very recent trial. It was so unfortunatethat no matter what move she would take, it would always be a lose-lose situation for her.