Discuss the ways in which Nadine Gordimer and Mildred Taylor portray racism in their stories, " Country Lovers," and, " The Gold Cadillac."

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Introduction

Discuss the ways in which Nadine Gordimer and Mildred Taylor portray racism in their stories, " Country Lovers," and, " The Gold Cadillac." In the short stories "The Gold Cadillac" by Mildred Taylor and "Country Lovers" by Nadine Gordimer we see the effects of racism in a community. In "The Gold Cadillac" we see the portrayal of racism even in the police force and how peoples lives are put in danger just because a black man is driving an expensive car. In " Country Lovers" we see how racism causes the murder of a small and innocent child. In the story " Country Lovers" it is made clear from the outset of the story that there is racism in the community. One indication of this is that the white and black children initially play together. However, this changes very quickly; once the white children go away to school, they soon don't play together any more, even in the holidays. Racism develops because when the white children go off to school they are influenced by different racist ideas and become more aware of the laws and expectations that black and white people do not have personal relationships.

Middle

Although we fully understand the danger, Lois is confused by the whole situation. She does not understand what the word "lynch" means but it still scares her. The preparation for the journey of picnic baskets ironic in the story "The Gold Cadillac". The fact that they are preparing a picnic seems to be grand to the children: "It was like a grand, grand picnic we were going on" . We get the impression that the picnic is a treat but in fact it is made clear that the picnic is more of a practicality as we read of the signs which forbid black people from eating in certain places Mississippi: " ... we saw even more signs saying: WHITE ONLY, COLOURED NOT ALLOWED". In country lovers Njabulo's attitude is positive. Even though the baby may not be his own he still cares for and supports it: " Out of his farm labourers earnings he bought from the Indian store a cellophane... six napkins, a card of safety pins, a knitted jacket, cap and bootees, a dress, and a tin of Johnson's baby powder for Thebedi's baby."

Conclusion

Both authors show the effect of racism on lives and relationships. Nadine Gordimer shows this in "Country Lovers" when the baby is killed and in the relationship between Thebedi and Paulus, which is destroyed because of racism. Had there not been racism within the community which they lived the baby may have still been alive and they may have formed a family together. In "The Golden Cadillac" Mildred Taylor shows us that racism affected the family in a negative way. Racism begins to cause a disruption within Wilbert's family as it sparks arguments with his wife and makes his daughters scared to ride in the car. Although Wilbert ends up selling the car and riding around in a cheap and scruffy car whilst being laughed at, he comes out with more dignity. Wilbert and his faäily know the truth, which is that he häs chosen to sell the car and that his family is probably stronger and are bought even closer together. In " Country Lovers" Paulus comes out with less sympathy than Thebedi as he has you get the impression that he has taken the life of an innocent little child. Even if he has not the way he has treated Thebedi is not very good.

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