- For Teachers
I need help to see if I am on the right track and to see if my essay flows...The paper is on 3 stories by Nadine Gordimer and an essay by Breyten Breytenboch discussing the apartheid and the effects it had on whites and blacks in South Africa. It is worthy to note that Gordimer did not mention South Africa in any of her stories, but rather the reader interprets it as if she was. The paper is suppose to discuss how identity is shaped through power...
Here is my thesis and 1st body paragraph...please tell me if the ideas flow and the thesis is carried forward through the body:
Apartheid; the word alone sends a shiver down the spines of the repressed African community. Apartheid represents a mordant period in the history of South Africa, when the policy of segregation and political and economic discriminating against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa was the standard legal principal. It’s a mordant period in the history of South Africa where an entire community has been gutted, and the innards lay out to view. Nelson Mandela, a prominent anti-apartheid activist, led the cause to end the racial discrimination in South Africa. However, his actions caused an upheaval that lead to various power shifts and identity crises among native black South Africans and those of their white conquerors. Nadine Gordimer, in her three stories, and Breyten Breytenbach, in his essay, show how identity is shaped through power, power of oneself or through the power of another.
Identity is not something that is constructed by oneself, but instead is shaped by the media and one’s parents as Gordimer explains in “The House Gun.” It is not unlike any child to want to be distant from their parents, but when it comes to the conflict(s) in South Africa, it is a major problem that shapes the future identity of the country itself. Gordimer shows that the parents and their children have separate interests in which “only occasionally where interests, inculcated in him as a child by his parents, met.” As time passed, white South Africans, parents and their children, grew to fear blacks, especially after the end of the apartheid approached. Duncan, like so many other white South Africans, had to buy a gun “for protection.” This protection was meant to try to have power over the blacks that threatened his well-being. Duncan’s parents, Harald and Claudia, were forced to believe in a black lawyer as a “good friend” to free their son Duncan. Blacks had become in control, and as a result Duncan chose a down to earth black lawyer so he had a chance to survive. Whites’ only choice was to believe in blacks to help them from the blacks who were out for revenge. Power had shifted from the white parents to the black children who grew to hate whites for killing their parents. Duncan, like other South Africans, had lost his identity through the killing of another person. Duncan’s parents knew nothing about their son until the messenger, Julian, had told them. Julian represents the media because he delivers the news. Media delivers a one sided story, a story that gives identity to people; however, this identity may not be appealing to that particular person or group. The messenger tells Duncan’s parents that their son may be “gay,” and may have killed his roommate. Gordimer is trying to explain to the reader that the identity of the 2nd generation of whites in South Africa is essentially unknown to the 1st generation, Duncan’s parents in this case. This is even more prevalent while Duncan is in jail; he does not speak. The messenger, the media, becomes Duncan’s voice. As within South Africa, the media gives a voice to the killer(s). By Duncan, and other South Africans, killing each other they gain power, but by gaining that power they lose their own identity and must reclaim that through the media.