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Choose TWO STORIES that show divisions or conflicts within communities - 'The train from Rhodesia' and 'Leela's Friend'.

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Introduction

Choose TWO STORIES that show divisions or conflicts within communities. For each story write about: - What these actual divisions/conflicts are - How the divisions/conflicts occur - How the writer describes the effects on the people involved. Both of the stories 'The train from Rhodesia' and 'Leela's Friend' illustrate divisions of classes and some of them result in conflicts. 'The train from Rhodesia' is in an allegory form to convey the deep hatred of the author towards her racially divided home country - apartheid. 'Leela's Friend' shows the class division by demonstrating the prejudice that people have on those who are low in hierarchy. 'The train from Rhodesia' is about a train from Rhodesia 'calling' into the station with all the white passengers on it and there are the vendors who crowd round the train trying to sell their wares. ...read more.

Middle

The use of oxymoron in the epiphany of the woman and the shocked man here show another division due to the different views and opinions upon the way of treating poor black people. Gordimer describes the people and the setting in the third-person but does show us the young woman's point of view on several occasions. For instance, in line 168-169 there is no subject 'she' in the description of shame upon her. This emphasizes the guilty among some white people about the exploitation of the country and also made the reader feel empathetic towards the young woman. The 'majestic' and 'heraldic' lion was 'fallen on its side in the corner' lead the main theme of the story - the richer and privileged white European arrive and exploit South Africa's labour and move on, they are never really part of the country as the train symbolizes. The central narrative question in 'Leela's Friend' is 'Did Sidda steal the gold chain?' ...read more.

Conclusion

'He looked at her mutely, like an animal.' This pet imagery is used by Narayan throughout the story. The golden chain, the running away, not permitting to sleep in the house all accentuate his level and hierarchy comparing to the owner of the house. He is prejudged as he is 'already looked queer' when Mrs Sivasanker knows that the chain is missing. Even he has been proved that he has not taken the chain; Mr Sivasanker still calls him a 'criminal'. All these ironies of prejudice show that the class division within this community and all the cause of this is that Sidda is in a position of servant and therefore loses his right. Both of the stories accentuate the unfairness and injustice upon the weak class as the result of class division and their poverty. 'The train from Rhodesia' uses the woman's point of view and her epiphany to make the reader feel sympathetic towards the vendor. 'Leela's Friend' uses the pet imagery to emphasize the idea of classes and prejudice on poors. ...read more.

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