July's people" by Nadine Gordimer The novel July’s People by Nadine Gordimer is one of the several novels that dealt with the concept of apartheid and how it had affected the lives of the people in South Africa. Nadine Gordimer is a well known South African author who has several books and novels to her credit…
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The book addresses the civil war and its outcomes and how the apartheid caused a great lot of disturbance to the livelihood of the people. The characters of the story have been built in a practical and bleak way by the author Nadine Gordimer. There were a lot of criticisms on the book for its addressing the apartheid system and but still managed to stand out from the rest. This paper will deal with the characters and the parts they got to play in the novel. When the characters are looked into, it becomes clear that there is a multi dimensional approach carried on by the author. The characters in the story differ from one another in a huge way and it could be understood well only with a thorough reading. There is not a single character which was vague and the story is well known for showcasing the strong sides of characters. With the book, we can understand that the character of a person is the bundle of what a person is and it depends hugely over the environment in which the person is brought up. The story revolves around the characters Bamford, Maureen, July and Martha. Bam and Maureen need to leave Johannesburg because of the civil war scenario that disoriented the entire area. The Smale family comprises of Bam, Maureen and children Victor, Gina and Royce. In the 1980s, the civil war broke out and there were scenarios like black killing the white and other way around. As a result of continuous suppression, the black retaliates and wants to take hold of the South Africa. The Smales who are the South African liberals were affected by the sudden turn of events and they had to leave the place to only found shelter with July. July is the loyal black servant and he assures to take them to their house to keep them safe. The characters of the books show some gradual and steady change with time and through the well connected events, the author establishes it to be a practical one. All the characters were etched out well and in a realistic manner. The novel perfectly deals with the aspect, shift of power and what impact it could bring in. The Smales family had to depend on July for their survival and July makes them stay in their mother’s house. When there is a shift in control, things change on various fronts. Nadine Gordimer has focused on this aspect in the novel and has provided a detailed account on it. Gordimer’s characterization touches upon this radical shift of power from the master and the confusing state of behavior and talks that arise out of it. One of the central themes of the book is power and the consequences surrounding it. It deals with great ease how it will be for those who were used to have power or command over a person and how new it will be for the person who has the taste of power for the first time. Overall, the book touches upon different facets of life with greater ease. As far as the characterization of the Smales is concerned, the author made sure to highlight their state as masters who had the blacks as their loyal servant. Gordimer, right from the beginning of the story, gives a wider picture over the happenings in the lives of the Smales how, with greater difficulty, they try to adjust with the current position. They sometimes do not seem to remember their present situation and still continues with the masterly tone with July. Especially, the book deals with conversations between Maureen and July and the confrontations that arise therein. Bam and Maureen still hold backs the masterly relation that they have
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