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Essay analysing" The lemon orchard" by Alex la Duma

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Alessandra Slerca Class 9A The Lemon Orchard What makes this story effective as a condemnation of the brutality shown towards black people in South Africa? The theme of violence in ?The Lemon Orchard? is very interesting because Alex la Duma portrays it in two different ways. Throughout the narrative we have not only the physical violence, but also the emotional and psychological violence the black man suffers from the prejudice the group of white men hold against him and his race. The short story is the author?s way of showing the aggression towards the Negroes in South Africa, and he has managed to portray the racism and brutality present in a very effective way. Alex la Duma starts his story in a lemon orchard at night. The atmosphere created is very tense and conveys a very dark and menacing feeling in the reader. With the light Alex la Duma casts on the night and the ?chill in the air?, all of the ordinary things seem eerie and evil, as if the environment were reflecting the malevolence in the white men and their intentions. ...read more.


The language used by the men is also extremely violent and coarse. A strong example of this hostility was: ?Answer me or I will shoot a hole through your spine.? Apartheid in South Africa is very common and accepted or ignored by most of the population. Alex la Duma manages to portray this separation, the hatred and disgust the Caucasians have for the Negros, all over the country by using the image of the bound black man and group of white men to represent the two different sectors of South Africa?s population. ?I will whatever hotnot or kaffir I desire, and see me get into trouble over it.? Here the author is showing us how the violence between these two ethnical groups has become accepted, as the man is sure he would never be prosecuted by the government because if he had killed the Negro. According the attitude of the white men the story, they believe that having fair skin has somehow given them the right to treat other races the way the liked. ...read more.


This way, when the reader realises the story has finished, we already knew exactly what would happen when last line is spoken: ?This is as good a place as any...? I believe that because of all of these several things, Alex la Duma was successful in making an impactful and criticizing the violence towards the Negros in South Africa. I believe there is also another factor which adds to the effectiveness of the story. The story?s structure is simple and uncomplicated; we can see that the author did not try to transform the story into an epic tale of heroes and villains. We can also notice there is a lack of characterization both in personalities and physical descriptions; Alex La Duma hardly mentions any names during his narrative. This, in my opinion, gives a story an edge of reality, and makes it much more believable. The lack of personal characteristics attributed to the Negro conveys a sense of randomness, as if the whole race is subjected to this brutality, no man in particular because of something he had done, but instead a whole race, because of their skin colour. 1: Kaffir- an insulting name for a Negro ...read more.

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