Forbidden Love in South Africa Essay

The reading assignment that intersted me was “Country Lovers” A story about fobidden love on a South African farm by Nadine Gordimer (1975). This story interested me because the main character was a well to do white man, Paulus, who fell in love with a black slave girl, Thebedi. Paulus provided Thebedir with gifts as they grew up together. Paulus and Thebedi had to meet secrelty because during the times this was written it was forbidden, so Paulus and Thebedi had to be very discreet.

Paulus and Thebedi had a child together that the main character (Paulus) killed when he found out that the child was his. Thebedi then had to drive to town to make a statement about who the father was and why Thebedi thought Paulus killed her child. The things that stuck out the most for me were the facts that in the beginnning of their relationship the feelings were so strong between them that they had to sneak around just to see each other. Paulus cared for Thebedi so much that Paulus even made special things for Thebedi and brought them back to her no matter where Paulus was.

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Yet in the end he killed the child that they had together because it was not proper at that time to have mixed blood children. The analytical method which would enhace the reading of this work would be a formalist approach. I chose this approach because the setting was during a time that mixing races were unthinkable. Paulus and Thebedi had to sneak around to see each other and when Paulus had a chance he would make things to give to Thebedi and give them to her secretly.

The characters were described as a young white male and a young black female. Paulus was a young white male that went off to boarding school and came home every year. Thebedi was a black female that worked on Paulus’ family farm. Paulus and Thebedi both started out as kids growing into adulthood, Paulus went off to school while Thebedi got married and had a baby. The views that were used in this story was a third party, it was not from a character in the story but from someone outside of the story.

The plot was very intriguing because the whole time throughout the story it kept you thinking what was going on between Paulus and Thebedi and if their love would ever grow into something else. The story was very surprising because in the end Paulus ended up giving Thebedi’s baby some type of liquid that eventually killed the baby. In the end Paulus was found not guilty on all accounts of this murder. The judge told Paulus that there was not enough evidence to convict him of the crime.

No one could accept Thebedi’s evidence into the system because she had previously commited perjury. In the end a young love turned into tragedy because Paulus killed Thebedi’s baby. Once he found out that they baby was his and it was a mixed blood child he could not face that and decided the best thing for him was to not have the mixed child around even if it caused problems between himself and the childs mother. The moral of the story is back in the older days it was not a good thing for a white male and a black female to have any contact with each other.

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