• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Nadine Gordimer Comrades commentary. The following extract is from the collection of short stories by Nadine Gordimer called Comrades. In the story a white liberal woman befriends a group of black protestors and provides the

Extracts from this document...


The following extract is from the collection of short stories by Nadine Gordimer called ''Comrades''. In the story a white liberal woman befriends a group of black protestors and provides them with food, although it was unusual to have this kind of friendship during the Apartheid system where the whites and the Coloureds were segregated. The title ''Comrades'' is ironical as the friendship between those two races, Europeans and Africans, was forbidden during the Apartheid system. Nevertheless, in this extract Godimer portrays the friendship, though it is uneasy at first, between the white liberal woman and a group of Black youngsters. Gordimer's description of the young men clashes with the description of the white liberal woman. The author highlights the contrast between the European and African cultural backgrounds through the use of contrasting language and diction. The men are presented as hungry, "they are stacking their plates and cups", suggesting they lack basic commodities in contrast to the woman's wealthy house, which has a symbolic significance as the Blacks were stripped off not only of essential human rights such as education, "they are children...for whom school is a battleground", but also wealth creating an inequality in the South African society. ...read more.


The simple sentence ''They eat.'' consists only of one verb and one pronoun to portray how the Blacks are focused on the food and ''overwhelmed'' by her hospitality. ''They stare at the food but their eyes seem focused on something she can't see; something that overwhelms.'' Illustrates the surreal nature of this situation as the Blacks were used to being supressed by the Whites, as any interaction apart from employer and employee relationship was forbidden by the law. The narrator uses commas to separate the simple statements, ''They need carbohydrate, they are hungry, they need it, they burn it up.'' to magnify the amount of basic commodities which the Africans lacked. This in effect encourages the reader to sympathise with the Africans and view them as equal human beings greatly supressed by the South African government ruled by the Europeans. Gorimer also makes use of complex-in-structure sentences in order to depict the numerous problems that the Africans had to face due to their skin colour as they were considered meaningless and less intelligent than those with a pale complexion, ''They are the children... for whom school is a battleground, a place of boycotts and demonstrations, the literacy of political rhetoric,...'' ...read more.


implying that the woman is slightly hesitant about offering food to the Blacks while the government discouraged any kinds of friendship between different races. The end of the extract is dominated by question marks, ''...for leading a boycott? Throwing stones at the police?'' as Gordimer symbolises the stereotypical values of the older generation questioning the young generation, doubting their new approaches to solve the problems resulting from the Apartheid system. Gordimer suggests that such stereotypical views make it more difficult for the Whites to accept the Black in the society resulting in segregation. In conclusion, Gordimer presents the Black men differently than the white woman to highlight the inequality in apartheid. The friendship between them is uneasy and unnatural as Gordimer implies that the stereotypical views engraved in the Whites' minds prevents many friendships to be formed between the Whites and the Blacks. Gordimer' purpose of depicting such friendship in her short story ''Comrades'' is to encourage the readers to break stereotypical barriers between the Blacks and the Whites, suggesting that the Blacks are equal human beings lacking basic commodities such as food, education and shelter due to suppression of the Coloureds duing the Apartheid system. ?? ?? ?? ?? Name: Giang Tran ''Comrades'' by Gordimer - IOC written commentary ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. The text Insignificant Gestures is written by Jo Cannon and it is a short ...

    She was an African woman and she worked as a housekeeper for the doctor. The relationship between the protagonist and Celina started to be a professional relationship, but it developed especially when they started to draw together. When they drew, the protagonist felt free and he tells us about how

  2. "Heart of Darkness" commentary. This extract belongs to part 3 of the book, ...

    The manager's reaction is mysterious, it is never so clear whether he does take a look at Kurtz's corpse or not. The manager like Marlow is shown to be calm and collected despite knowing that Kurtz's health is worsening rapidly.

  1. In the prose extract, Feet September 1948, Seamus Deane utilizes various techniques and literary ...

    Deane emphasizes the importance of feet as he describes the characters through the shoes that they are wearing by their professions and social status. For example, the narrator says that "I recognized Uncle Manus's brown shoes: the heels were worn down...

  2. Abduction is a short story written by Shelagh Delaney. The story is about a ...

    The picture "A Man's Head in a Woman's Hair" by Edvard Munch, shows a woman who has surrounded her hair around a head of a man. She symbolises her loyalty as a mother and a protector. Her intentions are fine and what she only wants is him to be happy and healthy.

  1. The writer of Unman, Wittering and Zigo, and Giles Cooper criticises the educational system ...

    very naive and under-confident but want to impress the Head, that the school is outstanding and has no problems and if there are any problems, they can all be sorted out. Cary Farthingale, the arts teacher, is introduced as a cynical character who will give a completely contradictory impression of the school to John Ebony.

  2. The Use of Black and White in Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis

    One example is found throughout the first part of Persepolis One. Her faith as a Muslim is strong, as could be seen in her conversations with God, but while continually faced with the harsh realities caused by the Islamic regime, she eventually loses touch with her faith.

  1. Unseen commentary on an extract from "Killed at Resaca" by Ambrose Bierce.

    This in turn, reveals a somewhat gullible and na�ve quality about Brayle, in that he was easily influenced by the words of Mendenhall to the extent that he was willing to sacrifice his life as a symbol of commitment. Besides The two three major characters; the narrator, Herman Brayle and Miss Mendenhall a fourth character is introduced.

  2. Short Questions on Ernest Hemmingway's Short Stories

    However, as the story proceeded, there was a shift in power from Margot to Macomber who became brave by standing his ground and shooting the charging buffalo. Additionally, in ?Indian Camp,? Nick who appeared to be a weak immature character, reliant on his father, at the onset of the story,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work