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Alienation And Isolation Depicted In "The Lemon Orchard" And "The Third And Final Continent"

1124 words - 4 pages

The Lemon Orchard and The Third and Final Continent are about alienation and isolation. The role of the environment and the setting in both stories is very effective and dynamic, which further enhances the impact of the theme and mood within both stories. Throughout both stories, the setting and the environment, plays a huge role and makes both stories much more convincing.
The Lemon orchard is a story set in a dark isolated lemon orchard. La Guma uses the environment and the setting to symbolize the actions of the men and to foreshadow things to come. He does this very effectively and successfully to keep the reader’s attention He makes the reader think about these mysterious images to discover what the writer is really trying to say. La Guma, in the beginning, used negative images but in the end he turned these negative images in to positive. For example the writer used the imagery of the moon in the beginning and in the end very professionally. In the beginning “the moon was hidden behind long high parallels of cloud which hung like suspended streamers”. This imagery foreshadows that something terrible, devilish is going to happen. The writer has made us consider that something awful is going to happen with powerful moon imagery. At the end of his story he again uses the moon imagery to close up his story “moon came from behind the banks of cloud and its white light touched the leaves with wet silver”. The moon light is being compared to stage light which shines onto a stage for a play to begin and this conveys the men’s actions; the men in the story are the actors and moon light symbolizes the beginning of the men’s act which will take place. However the moon is not the only object that the writer uses to foreshadow things.
La Guma does the same technique with the sound of the crickets and the dog but only this time he uses aural imagery - “creek, creek, creek”. In the beginning this “creek” sound represented the black man’s fear but in the end they represent normality, goodness and no fear. The dog barking strangely in the beginning reinforces this idea and foreshadows the same thing. The dog has sensed people and barks for protection in the end which is a normal thing, but in the beginning “A dog started barking in high yaps, and then stopped abruptly”. It is not barking normally and this barking foreshadows the men’s fear and that something is wrong.
The writer also uses the imagery of smell in the same way to symbolize the men’s feelings and actions. First he said “Bitter sweet smell” but a lemon’s taste is not totally sweet, so this means something is not right. At the end the smells become sweeter, more pleasant and normal which conveys the negatives turning into positives. Throughout the Lemon Orchard the environment was unfriendly, hostile and racist with full of wood headed people who think white people are better than blacks. However in the end the environment becomes amiable. Alienation and Isolation was the main idea that...

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