The Shattering Of Idealism Essay

940 words - 4 pages

Literature changed drastically between the nineteenth-century and twentieth and twenty-first century. Idealistic views that British writers once held, turned into skepticism as Great Britain enter war and inequalities grew greater. The writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries wrote realistically what was happening in the world. The Moment before the Gun Went Off by Nadine Gordimer and “The Day They Burned the Books” by Jean Rhys are both stories that show the shattering of Idealism in twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Britain’s colonialism caused many problems for natives and natural born British who lived in the colonies. The illusion of patriotism shattered as conflicts of race, class, and gender equality took light. The Moment before the Gun Went Off by Nadine Gordimer discusses racial issues in South Africa. The story itself is very realistic in its approach in discussing the very complex racial issues in South Africa. Unlike, stories in the nineteenth century which discuss how things should be; stories in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries tell it as it is. This style of writing makes the reader feel as if the writers have lost hope in world ever recovering.
Although, it is not hard seeing why writers have such a hopeless outlook on their world. The Moment before the Gun Went Off shows a how divided the world truly is. The story show how black and white the issue of race was portraying, when a white farmer accidentally shot his illegitimate black son. Although, the farmer knows this was not a race driven crime, he knows people will use this as such. “How will they ever know, when they file newspaper clippings, evidence, proof, when they look at the photographs and see his face----guilty! guilty! they are right!—’’ (Gordimer p.1445) This quote is particularly interesting because its discusses how people are going to think he did it for because his son was black. It shows how the writers world had no grey area when it came to issues.
Gordimer wrote many stories about racial issues and was often critiqued for it. Like many writers she got her realistic writing style from years of political repression. One of the many reasons why patriotism was shattered is because coloialism was creating harsh tensions. In The Moment before the Gun Went Off they discuss how the killing of the son is going to turn into an ugly racial debate “Bad enough to have killed a man, without helping the Party’s, the government’s, the country’s enemies” (p.1442) The reader can conclude from this quote that because great Britain colonized in South Africa it caused rifts between many people. People’s patriotism tends to dwell when all they see is conflict around them. The once idealistic views turn critical when war...

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