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In "The Lemon Orchard," La Guma uses a number of techniques to convey his concerns for prejudice and discrimination against blacks. While he does not directly tell the reader to condemn racism

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Introduction

How has La Guma conveyed his anti-racism message through "The Lemon Orchard"? In "The Lemon Orchard," La Guma uses a number of techniques to convey his concerns for prejudice and discrimination against blacks. While he does not directly tell the reader to condemn racism, he subtly implies it by the perversion of Nature and the distortion of the physical environment. The use of ironies and building on our moral knowledge of right and wrong, he reinforces his message to us. In the beginning, La Guma describes that the moon is "hidden behind long, high parallels of cloud". He is personifying the moon to society in general, proposing that it does not wish to witness what will occur, since it hides itself behind clouds and shows its disapproval by refusing to cast its light on the men. Nevertheless, La Guma feels it's not enough for society to just turn a blind-eye to the persecution of blacks and pretend that it does not exist, and implying that if they do so, they are no different from active participants who implicitly cheer on the whites. ...read more.

Middle

The oxymoron and the contrasting words create a sense of uneasiness and tension. The description of the physical setting also reinforces the idea that something foreboding is going to happen. The dogs stop barking and the crickets become silent. Through these contradictions and physical setting, he implies that racism should be condemned. His portrayal of the white leader achieves a similar effect. He wears a "shooting jacket" and carries a "loaded shotgun". This suggests that he is prepared to kill. The leader's face is invisible signifying anonymity, and creating a sense of horror and danger, because we cannot tell who it is, meaning it could be anyone, therefore hinting how widespread racism really is. The leader's eyes were like "two frozen lakes", implying that he is cold and inhuman. The leader's face is full of lines that look like a "map", which suggests that he is a representation of his country, and further supports that racism is very common throughout South Africa. The empathy we feel for the teacher's plight and our admiration for his courage and quiet dignity leads us to criticise the whites' racist treatment of him. ...read more.

Conclusion

He uses diction and imagery to symbolise the defilement of the physical setting and the distortion of Nature. Towards the end of the story, he uses words such as "crouched" and "harsh" suggest brutality and the image of a predator waiting to pounce on its prey. These words combined with phrases such as "chill in the air" creates a sense of malevolence. The phrase "blended into solid strips of high pitched sound" appears to be foreshadowing the whipping that will occur, conjuring up an image of a whip, tearing off 'strips' of flesh, and the reader can almost hear the 'high-pitched' screams of the black man. The word crushed also generates an image of an explosion of blood from the black man. The "harsh whispering" and the "pleasant scent of lemons" totally contradict each other, symbolising the internal conflict that suffers with the soul of Nature. La Guma's concerns on the issue of prejudice are conveyed very strongly through his writing. The reader is able to share La Guma's feelings by reading how the black man is treated in the story. This story provides a basis of motivation for readers to do something about the expansion of racism. Written By Victor Li ...read more.

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