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The encounter in 'Enemies'

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An encounter is an unexpected meeting, and we see the leading characters in 'Enemies' and 'Recognition' having to come to terms with their past and as their encounters occur we see their changing perspective about certain issues surrounding them and how their characters develop from what they are to what they become. In 'Enemies' we see this being exercised upon by the leading character Mrs Clara Hansen. The title of the story 'Enemies' is in itself a description of what Mrs Hansen has become to her true self, an enemy. A common definition or rather characteristic associated with an enemy is one who hates and opposes and enemies usually in the general context fight a war or battle with another. Mrs Hansen fulfills this definition of what makes an enemy through her struggle within her confrontation between what she has become and who she truly is. In the opening pages we are given a description of Mrs Hansen as keeping to herself when she travels and this is justified by her having money, been a baroness, a beauty, and has survived dramatic suffering. This description of her conveys a picture of her as a very proud woman who has suffered and worked hard to get where she is. She is also described as having "The crushing presence of these states in her face and bearing is nearly always enough to stop loose mouths of the people who find themselves in her company." This description of her conveys the amount of influence she has upon people and she may assume some level of control upon their behaviour. The people who do not behave in accordance in her presence, those who assail her face are referred to as either stupid, senile or self obsessed, hence, saying that one would not be normal not to do the latter in her presence. "Withdrawn as a castle", this being a statement giving her a high status especially when used as a simile against a castle, actually making her ...read more.


It was ironic when the other woman became envious of Mrs Hansen, as in the beginning she is not a character that you can get to know the way this lady has got to know her. We see Mrs Hansen coming to terms with who she is more and more and the other lady goes as far as saying "I might have met someone really congenial", someone of similar characteristics. When the train stopped I found it to be used in contrast with Mrs Hansen who at the time found herself in between two lives and the way she could choose to live. The title "Elderly woman found dead..." is in my eyes not a complete dying of the character that she had become and accepting who she is, as one could put it against "IT WAS NOT ME." I think both these statements are powerful and convey what has happened to Mrs Hansen. I think she has come to partly accept who she is and who she has become and is in my eyes a bit of both characters and sees herself as a new person all together as she is not sad when she leaves the station and actually thinks of Alfred by sending him that message, something I don't think she would have done if her encounter had not occurred. To be recognize is to know something or someone who you have known or seen before, and we see how the leading character within recognition seeking recognition for her past and how she recognizes some past issues within the present times, which becomes the catalyst to her encounter. With in the first few lines we immediately get the sense that she does not want to be forgotten nor the achievements of Kobus in the past even though his time of rule was during apartheid times and was enforcing white colonialist rule in South Africa. ...read more.


seem to be coming to terms with it but not forgetting it because it makes a great part of their life "I came to make sure no one is going to take the past away from me." I think in the end of the story the character still lives her life cherishing what has happened in the past especially after the recognition that she was in seek of, she has attained but I think she would be less jealous of the way she lived in the past but live in sight of it. She does not seem to have changed the view of herself as her husband's representative and maintaining his image but has I think got some satisfaction through recognition and has come to terms with her past in the present day. In both 'Enemies' and 'Recognition' the leading characters find their encounters with their past as being of influence to some of their changes in character. In both stories both characters are faced with a contrast in which they have similarities and become more accepting to the way they lead their lives. Both stories have an ambiguous ending it is left to us to draw some sort of conclusion on how the character is going to lead their life after their encounter. I do not think there is a complete change in the perspectives of the characters but it is evident that they lose some of their perspectives of themselves and attain new perspectives from their encounters, especially when it comes to coming to terms with their past and accept who they have become without losing sight of who they were and actually living in appreciation of their past. NAME: NDABEZULU T KHUMALO STUDENT NUMBER: 0514425Y TUTOR: MS M ENDELSTEIN ELECTIVE: ENEMIES AND RECOGNITION DUE DATE: MONDAY 9TH MAY TOPIC DISCUSS THE CLASH BETWEEN PAST AND PRESENT IN ANY TWO OF THESE STORIES PAYING ATTENTION TO THE CHARACTERS' DEVELOPMENT, i.e. THE CHANGES OF PERSPECTIVE THAT ARISE FROM THE ENCOUNTER WITH THE PAST. ...read more.

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