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Examine the ways that the author of ‘Crackling day’ explores the themes of fear, power and courage. What messages is the author trying to communicate to the reader through the characters’ attitudes?

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Introduction

Examine the ways that the author of 'Crackling day' explores the themes of fear, power and courage. What messages is the author trying to communicate to the reader through the characters' attitudes? Crackling day is set in Africa, during the times of apartheid. Apartheid was a system introduced in 1948 to segregate the Black people from the Whites. Under this system, whites, blacks and coloureds were educated, and lived, separately. Apartheid is evident in Crackling Day in many places such as the trained dog and the young white boys randomly verbally abusing Lee and Andries. "The young white man that served us did it in leisurely fashion" As well as apartheid in 'Crackling Day', there are also tough living conditions evident for all the black people. They have to walk to get their daily meat every Wednesday in very cold weather and with little food. Aunt Liza works hard every day, her "Swollen hands" show this and all of the black people have hardly any clothes, if they do they have lots of very thin layers of shirts. "The slits of the many thin cotton dresses she wore" As a result of these facts, all the characters feel fear and need to show courage on a daily basis. Some examples of the difficult conditions which individual characters face are that Lee and Andries face the cold on their way to buy the crackling. ...read more.

Middle

The incident with the white man giving out the crackling demonstrates the theme of power and it's importance in that society. It shows the clear difference in power and authority between Lee and the white man. The white man obviously has power and authority over Lee because apartheid made him more authoritive. "The young white man that served us did it in a leisurely fashion" The young white man continues using his power to his advantage and for his own pleasure by repeating the same question sharply over and over again, "What?" he asks Lee, "Well?" he continues to ask him. This shows tremendous amounts of ignoracy and hatred for the black people of Africa. There is no excuse for the white man being rude because Lee is being very polite, this makes the white man seem yet more ignorant and unjust. Lee is also depravated when he is "Out of the reach of the white man's mocking eyes", this shows that the white man has little or no respect for Lee at all. The main incident that Lee displays courage in is the fight with the white boys. This time he responds with physical courage, when he is mocked and ridiculed by the white boys he retalliates and starts to fight with one of the white boys. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Lee has been beaten Sam buys Lee some boiled sweets, a picture book and an orange in hope of rectifying the situation. This shows a sign of regret and affection for Lee. Uncle Sam starts to talk about the future but then changes his mind and sits next to the fire, this gives us the idea that Sam is uncomfortable with talking to Lee and decides not to tell him until he is older. In conclusion, the types of courage and fears demonstrated in 'Crackling Day' are fears of the conditions, fear of the situations that Lee and Andries face and the fears of other people. Lee is very extroverted when courage is involved, Lee faces his fears and tries to conquer them whereas Andries tries not to face his fears and live along side them. Aunt Liza doesn't want to face her fears but does so for other people. Uncle Sam tries to work around his fears in hope that his fears will pass him by without affecting him. The message that the author is trying to communicate in 'Crackling Day' is that courage is morally superior to power but in the times of apartheid morals did not matter; if the whites wanted something then they would get it whether or not it was right or against the black peoples' views. ?? ?? ?? ?? Will Shaw 10PG 27/06/01 - 1 - ...read more.

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