Opression and Inequality

7 July 2016

“Racism, Oppression, and Inequality within The Welcome Table and Country Lovers” In this paper I will analyze the similarities and differences between Country Lovers written in 1975 by Nadine Gordimer, and The Welcome Table written in 1970 by Alice Walker. The overall theme and concept between The Welcome Table and Country Lovers are racism, oppression, and inequality which I analyze with critical thought and precision. Before I can begin to draw any conclusion as to comparing and contrasting the two stories Country Lovers and The Welcome Table, I must first familiarize myself to several important concepts of each story.

These important concepts consist of the plot, theme, list of characters involved, the setting, the style, and the tone of the narrator. Also, what method does the narrator utilize to gain and keep the attention of the reader at a maximum level? The Welcome Table, written by Alice Walker, is one of the most enjoyable and inspiring pieces of literature I have ever read. The Welcome Table’s style is formatted in the third person point of view, but frequently shifts throughout the story.

Opression and Inequality Essay Example

The beginning or the first part of the story is told strictly from the white people’s perspective as they witness an elderly black woman nearly blind, with a lean build and grayish tone to her skin enters their church. The historical development of the African-American woman can be traced within the African-American literary tradition while locating religion as a central influence of her strength character, and dedication (LaGrone, 2009). The author does a superlative job enhancing the story by incorporating such a descriptive nature to the characters.

Particularly the main character which was described by her attire as being an old mildewed black dress with missing buttons and a greased stained head rag covering her pigtails. The elderly black woman was further described as having blue-brown eyes with very wrinkled skin. It was also mentioned of how profusely perspiring the elderly black woman was – 2 – 1 2 1. plot, theme, list of characters… This sentence is not balanced or “parallel. ” For example, incorrect: “The child spent the day singing, dancing, and played in the sandbox. ” Notice that ‘played’ is not parallel with ‘singing’ and

‘dancing. ‘ Correct: “The child spent the day singing, dancing, and playing in the sandbox. ” Example: Plot, theme, characters, etc. [Monique Sheffield] 2. The historical development of the… If this is a direct quote it should be in quotation marks. However, the quote doesn’t support wat you are saying. Consider either using another quote that support what you stated or adding more information that leads up to your quote. [Monique Sheffield] RACISM, OPPRESSION AND INEQUAL 3 when she arrived at the church, which in my opinion illustrates the fatigue and the struggle in which she endured.

By incorporating vivid elements of descriptive images, the author made it rather easy to unite with this amazing journey. The race problem is not really an issue of cultural deficiency, racial bias, or structural dislocation. The race problem is an issue of power (Kuykendall, 2005). The story continued in the white people’s perspective after she took her seat, more directly pertaining to the usher who was informed to tell the elderly black woman to leave. The point of view switches to the white women inside the church, due to the fact the white women took it as a personal insult.

The constant back and forth changing of the narrator in my opinion, heightens the intensity and emotional depth to this literary work. The narration of the story changed once again to the spouses of the white women who felt as though they were insulted by the mere presence of the elderly black lady. The white men followed the instructions that were given and aggressive with force threw the elderly black woman out of the church. After the elderly woman is thrown out of the church the narration switches back to the main character of the story.

The truth is that until we can understand the pain we inflict on each other because of hatred and exclusion, we will never fully understand why racial reconciliation is so essential to the future of American (Waller, 2000). The next episode or set of events introduces the climax in the story. According to Clugston (2010) the climax of a story is the high point of tension that becomes the turning point in which the outcome is determined. We must strive to reinterpret the sociopolitical dynamics of race, to free the mind and heart as much as possible from the mistakes of the past (Winant, 1994).

In my opinion the elderly woman’s turning point was the arrival of Jesus. To those of us who believe in – 3 – 1 2 1. which in my opinion illustrates… In a comparison/contrast paper keep your opinion out. You are not writing an opnion paper. [Monique Sheffield] 2. The race problem is not really… Again, your quotes are not fitting the paper. If you need assistance incorporating sources into your research paper, select the “Library” tab on the left side of your online classroom. Next, go to Tutorials — Sources — Incorporating Sources into Your Research Paper. This video focuses on how to

effectively incorporate sources into your research assignment. [Monique Sheffield] RACISM, OPPRESSION AND INEQUAL 4 Jesus Christ just as the elderly woman it was truly an epiphany. An epiphany is defined as a profound and sudden personal discovery (Clugston, 2010). After her visual image became clear, and she realized who it was, she started jumping about and slapping her hands on her knees. This is an example of the overwhelming joy and excitement she was experiencing. Jesus was described as wearing an immaculate white, long dress trimmed in gold around his neck and hem, and a red, bright red cape.

He was also wearing sandals and had a beard which was centered upon his long brown hair. This statement once again illustrates the profound descriptive nature of the story which contributes to the story’s appearance. According to Clugston (2010), simile is defined as a direct comparison of two objects that are similar in at least one aspect, using like or as to link the similarities. In this particular event the author referenced the face of Jesus Christ to that of a glowing candle. His steps were mentioned to be “sure” and “perfect” as if He was walking on the sea.

As the elderly woman and Jesus began to walk together she started to tell Him about the many years she took care of them, cooking, cleaning and nursing. We have pursued the shadow, they have obtained the substance; we have performed the labor, they have received the profits; we have planted the vines, they have eaten the fruits (1,200). This excerpt of oppression and injustice was felt by the elderly woman. After releasing all of her frustrations, cares, and problems Jesus smiled at her and instantly she felt as though a burden had been removed.

The burden of the elderly woman reflects the theme of the story which is a combination of racism, oppression, and inequality. Another descriptive comparison was related to the ground Jesus and the elderly lady walked on, it was compared to walking on the clouds. A very interesting ending occurred in this story; no one actually knew what happened to the elderly woman. There came about many speculations. The white members of the town never talked about her. Many of the black families along the road stated “they saw the old – 4 – 1 1. Good job on describing the plot of this story. [Monique

Sheffield] RACISM, OPPRESSION AND INEQUAL 5 lady high stepping down the highway; sometimes jabbering in a low insistent voice, sometimes singing, sometimes merely gesturing excitedly with her hands. ” Country Lovers written by 1975 by Nadine Gordimer was narrated using the third person point of view. The main characters involved in this particular story were Thebedi, Paulus Eysendyck, and Njabulo. Thebedi, a poor black girl, who was 18 years of age, grew up in the Kraal of South Africa working as a farm hand with her father on the property of her childhood friend Paulus Eysendyck.

Paulus was a young, white, 19 year old whose father owned the land. Over the years Paulus grew fond of Thebedi. Paulus’ endearment towards Thebedi was illustrated by bringing Thebedi a painted box from when he attended boarding school. Thebedi also showed her affection toward Paulus by giving him a bracelet she had made out of brass wire. The theme of this story is based around the perils of apartheid, segregation and racism. Their actions (Paulus and Thebedi) exemplified the policies of the South African because they carefully, strategically plan their encounters.

Njabulo, a bright young black boy who lives in the Kraal also worked on the farm. Njabulo had a secret crush on Thebedi for years, but did not act on it until Paulus entered Veterinary College. It was at this time that Njabulo asked Thebedi’s father for her hand in marriage. It is customary to distribute brides-wealth to the parents of the bride. Two months into their marriage Thebedi gave birth to a baby girl. At this point in the story the narrator uses descriptive literary terms to entice the reader to become fully engaged. The characteristics of the baby girl were design to initiate the climax of the story.

It was mention that the infant’s features were as follows. Her complexion was very light with straight fine hair and her eyes were grey flecked with yellow. These features were very inconsistent with those of both parents being Afro-American. Nevertheless, Njabulo made no – 5 – 1 1. You have summarized some of the story, but have not stated anything that supports the theme. [Monique Sheffield] RACISM, OPPRESSION AND INEQUAL 6 complaints. After Paulus returns home for the holidays, the plot thickens or shall I say takes a turn for the worst.

To Paulus’ amazement he overheard the house-servants acquiring about getting a reliable substitute to help out now that Thebedi had a baby. At first glance of the infant Paulus struggled with a grimace of tears, anger, and self- pity. After Paulus asked Thebedi if she had been near the main house with the baby; the way she answered him somewhat confused me. The tone of her voice reflected she cared more about him (Paulus) than the baby. Paulus returned a couple days later to revisit Thebedi and the baby. After remaining in the hut for an extended time, Paulus finally left. The next morning Njabulo found the baby to be dead and buried her.

After pathological tests were completed, evidence showed intestinal damage not consistent with death by natural causes. This is another point in the story that thickens the plot, and decreases the credibility of both Paulus and Thebedi. Thebedi rendered a statement at the preliminary examination, “I saw Paulus pouring liquid into the baby’s mouth. ” This statement is a blatant paradox. According to Clugston (2010), a paradox is defined as a contradiction. The comparison and contrast aspect of The Welcome Table and Country Lovers falls into the category of racism, segregation, inequality.

In order to give proper respect and credit to the author, I will analyze in depth the tools that were used to portray a perfectly painted picture, starting with The Welcome Table. The setting, the style, the vast proportions of literary terms all combined, paints a vivid reenactment of struggles that Afro-Americans have endured for so many years. For many years Alice Walker has played an integral role contributing to the cause of equal rights for minorities, particularly Afro-Americans. Through the use of her expertise, she has instilled in so many that we must never forget the many years of oppression, filled with endless – 6 –

1 2 3 1. or shall I say takes a turn for… Some of the language you are using is informal or conversational in style. Academic writing is structured and formal. What may seem appropriate in everyday conversation is not necessarily appropriate for your essay. [Monique Sheffield] 2. me. Unless you are writing a personal opinion or biographical paper, avoid the use of the personal pronouns “I”, “me”, and “you. ” They are considered informal in academic writing. For additional information, visit the Ashford Writing Center located in Constellation. Click

on Ch 2. 2. [Monique Sheffield] 3. Thebedi rendered a statement at… Explain this more. [Monique Sheffield] RACISM, OPPRESSION AND INEQUAL 7 sacrifices and never ending desire to overcome. Furthermore it is of the uttermost importance to continually strive for advancement. Even though the literary work of Country Lovers deals with racism and segregation, it was based on a romantic and intimate encounter of childhood sweethearts. The Welcome Table portrayed, in my opinion, the true struggles which transpired in the days before the abolishment of slavery.

I think the tone portrayed in The Welcome Table showed evidence that when read could very well captivate your entire train of thought. The tone that was used in The Welcome Table increased in strength as the story migrated. All the way to the end of the story, I wanted to continue reading, unlike Country Lovers. In my opinion Country Lovers’ tone was not as strong. The settings of both were written in a time where even though laws were passed to ban or revoke discrimination, it was still apparent and practice regularly.

One major difference in my opinion was the style of The Welcome Table compared to that of Country Lovers. Even though both literary works are categorized as being told in the third person, The Welcome Table actually changed narrators several times which in my opinion added life and charisma to the story. For example, The Welcome Table narration went from the reverend to the old lady, back to the usher, then to the white woman of the church, to their husbands, and finally back to the elderly woman.

Enclosed in my comparison and contrast essay of The Welcome Table and Country Lovers, you will find a descriptive analysis of the similarities and differences between each piece of literature. I also included the theme, plot, style and list of characters that were involved in each piece. I incorporated several literary terms which aided in the development of each story. Throughout my paper, I also described the difference between the tone of the two authors, and how – 7 –

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