Apartheid In Literature Essay

1148 words - 5 pages

Apartheid in Literature


In researching the existing text related to Apartheid, there must
first be proper definitions of the term 'Apartheid'. Next comes the
identification and analysis of works of literature that speak of
Apartheid and the lives of people under the South African government.
There will be a review of literature concerning Apartheid, where the
validity and reliability of each reference source used to shed light
on this issue will also be considered.

Thesis Statement

To what extent did the statement in the novel Cry the Beloved Country,
"It is fear that rules the land" apply to Leonard Monteath Thompson's
book, A History of South Africa and reality?

Definitions of the Apartheid

To be able to further understand and address the topic, there must be
a specific definition of the term 'Apartheid'. In my present scope of
research, the term 'Apartheid' turned into 'a drastic, systematic
program of social engineering' (Thompson 2001). As a result of the NP
[National Party] use[ing] its control of the government to fulfil
Afrikaner ethnic goals as well as white racial goals (Thompson 2001).
This is further agreed by Mandela as it is described as one of the
most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived.

Literature on the Apartheid

In studying the different text from different authors, we can have a
much wider perspective on their views and opinions on the
implementation of Apartheid. From the different texts, we can also
feel what people are going through as they are written from different
perspectives. In Alan Paton's novel, Cry, the Beloved Country although
it makes certain inferences on the superiority of whites over the
black, it does not give a direct insight on the implementation of
Apartheid as it focuses more on relationship matters. However, it does
give a good description of the feelings and experiences of the native
African protagonist during the time of the Apartheid. As Paton is a
white African in the time of Apartheid the reliability of his novel is
queried. But firstly this novel was based on a true story and it is
thus difficult to distort the facts. Secondly, he wrote openly about
Apartheid in most of his works, resulting in numerous police
investigations over fifteen years.

This is in comparison to what is demonstrated in figures. Leonard
Monteath Thompson's book A History of South Africa focuses very much
on the happenings and history of South Africa and is more direct in
discussing topics such as Apartheid. Thus this book is a valuable
resource in my research and is also very useful. However, Thompson
himself is a white man and how reliable can a white man's opinions be
on a system that is biased towards him? In all, all three sources are
certainly useful to my research in the implementation of...

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