Saturday, August 31, 2019

Comparative Paper Essay

The welcome table and country lovers share the same theme but are adversely different in many ways, yet in some they are a lot alike. In this paper I will compare and contrast The Welcome table by Alice Walker and Country lovers by Nadine Gordimer. I will address how they both are written in form, context, and style. I will explain different literary elements the author’s used to give detail about the stories. The two stories being compared and contrasted are similar in that they both are written around the same theme, race, and ethnicity. They are also both written in third person. The two writers Alice Walker and Nadine Gordimer were both expressing stories of racial inequality. They also show the reader that when the story was written it was not allowed to have a white person and black person in a relationship. They also express how unequal it was for a white person compared to a black person. In â€Å"The welcome table† a black woman came up to the steps of a white church and the preacher of that church stopped her at the lobby and said â€Å"Auntie, you know this is not your church† (Clangston 2010).† In the story country lovers Thebedi and Paulus, the main characters, had grown up together and ended up having a sexual relationship. When Paulus finds out Thebedi had a light skinned child he kills it because a white and black relationship is not allowed. He is also ashamed about being in a relationship with her and denies all accusations against him. In country lovers the story is about a white male, Paulus Eysendyck, who is the son of a farmer, and Thebedi one of the black female workers on the farm. The story starts off with them as children playing together along with all the other children, but Paulus and Thebedi were closer than the others. As they grow up Paulus goes to school and brings Thebedi gifts and tells her stories about school. They eventually end up having a sexual relationship and Thebedi ends up pregnant. Paulus is away at school when she finds this information out along with finding out she is getting married to Njabulo a black male who also works for the farmer. Thebedi gets married and has the baby. Njabulo knows that the child is not his because it has straight hair and light colored skin, but still raises him as his own. Paulus returns from school and overhears the in house servants talking about the light skinned child. He then goes out to the living quarters to see it. He finds Thebedi and Njabulo’ s house and secretly kills the child. The author uses imagery, character, and third person point of view ( throughout this story. The author paints a very good picture for the reader by using very graphic details describing everything. She uses character to describe the people in the story. Nadine Gordimer writes the story in third person objective. She only speaks as an outsider looking down on the story unfolding. She does not tell the reader what the characters feel throughout the story. Using imagery she makes a visual image of the characters and setting. â€Å"down there hidden by the mesh of old, ant-eaten trees held in place by vigorous ones, wild asparagus bushing up between the trunks, and here and there prickly-pear cactus sinken-skinned and bristly, like an old man’s face, keeping alive sapless until the next rainy season†. (Country lovers Nadine Gordimer). This is one example of what the reader experiences throughout the story. In The welcome table the main theme is also about racial inequality. This story starts out with an old black lady standing on the stairs of a church. She walks into the church and the preacher says â€Å"Auntie, you know this is not your church?† as if one could choose the wrong one. (Clangston 2010). She just walks past him and sits down in the very back row of the church. All the white people sitting inside near the front starred at her in disbelief. The usher came up to her and told her she needed to leave she just waved him off and told him to go away. The white wives told their husbands to get her out of the church also. They acted quickly and went to her and put an arm under hers to pick her up and carried her out. The author told the reader about the smell the men had on their fingers after carrying her out. It was a musty smell from her under arms. While she was standing on the front steps she looked up the road and saw Jesus. She was excited waving her arms so he did not miss her. She started walking with him and talking to him explaining everything even singing at times. At the end of the story they never saw her again. Many people speculated that she had died walking along the road. Many people though she had family on the other side of the river, but no one knew for sure. The incident was never spoken of in the church again. Alice Walker used third person, character and imagery like Nadine Gordimer did also. Alice Walker used third person omniscient allowing you not just to observe the action, but to see inside the thinking of those involved. She described the main character in great detail. She described here clothing â€Å"the missing buttons down the front of her mildewed black dress.† She described her personal qualities more in depth. She described her eyes, skin, and smell. â€Å"Aged blue-brown eyes†, â€Å"she was angular and lean and the color of poor gray Georgia earth, beaten by king cotton and the extreme weather. Her elbows were wrinkled and thick, the skin ashen but durable, like the bark of old pines.† (Clangston 2010). She also used similes throughout her story. The author did paint a picture using imagery, but this time it was of the main character, not the setting like Nadine Gordimer did. To compare the two stories both authors used imagery, character, third person point of view, and shared the same theme. The theme of both stories is about racial inequality. Both stories involved a black female as main characters. Life in the days these stories were written was not what it is like now. The story The Welcome Table was written in a collection of stories between 1967 and 1973. (Bradley, D). The story Country Lovers was written in 1975 (Custodio, L). This story also won the literary Nobel Prize in 1991. ( Life in this time was not equal at all. Blacks were looked at as to be less that white people. In most places blacks and whites could not eat in the same areas or use the same drinking fountains and in most cases as we see in The Welcome Table could not even go to the same church. These were called Jim Crow laws. ( In Country lovers we see they definitely could not be in a relationship. Both authors used imagery to let the reader see what was going on in the story. They both used describing details. In the welcome table the author describes to use the frigid cold outside and inside the church. She also tells us about the color and texture of her clothing, even describing the greasy hair stain on the bonnet. She also tells the smell of the underarms of the old lady after the men pick her up to remove her from the church. In Country lovers the author also uses imagery to give the reader a visual image of the story. She describes how Njabulo has built his house, making the reader feel as if they were right there looking at it. â€Å"Thebedi appeared, coming slowly from the hut Njabulo had built in white man’s style, with a tin chimney, and a proper window with glass panes set in straight as walls made of unfired bricks would allow.† (Clangston 2010). Along with telling the reader how the hut was built the author also describes the setting down by the dried up creek with great detail. â€Å" It had always been a good spot for children’s games/ down there hidden by the mesh of old, ant-eaten trees held in place by vigorous ones, wild asparagus bushing up between the trunks, and here and there prickly-pear cactus sunken- skinned and bristly, like an old man’s face, keeping alive sapless until the next rainy season.† (Clangston 2010). Both authors used character in their stories. The characters were involved in racial inequality yet neither author said anything about race or inequality in their stories. In The Welcome Table the old black lady tried to attend a white church. Three different times she was told that she did not belong first by the preacher â€Å"Auntie, you know this is not your church?† (Clangston 2010). The second, by the usher, who had never turned anyone away for church, never thought he would ever have to turn anyone away, and also â€Å"whispered that she should leave† (Clangston 2010). The last time was when the white wives told their husbands to remove her and that they did. They picked her up under her arms as set her back outside. In Country Lovers the main character Thebedi is a worker on the Paulus’ family farm. She is a poor black child whose parents had worked on the farm also. In the beginning Thebedi and Paulus along with all the other children played together and it was ok. As they got older and Paulus went to school he brought Thebedi gifts but, none for the other workers and once again that was ok. It’s when they begin their sexual relationship that problems occur. When Thebedi gets pregnant by Paulus she refuses to tell him. It is when the baby is born and Paulus over hears the in-house servants talking about it that it became a problem for him. Paulus immediately goes down to the hut to see the baby for himself and sees that the baby is light skinned, green-eyed, and straight haired. He then becomes ashamed and says â€Å"I feel like killing myself† (Clangston 2010). The authors chose to write in third person point of view, which to the reader, in these stories, lets them see and get a better understanding of what is happening and also lets the reader form their own opinion of the situation. If Nadine Gordimer would have written her story in first person she would have only let the reader see and understand what Thebedi was seeing and feeling. This would have taken the story in a completely different direction. At the same time if Alice Walker would have told the story in first person the story would have been less â€Å"juicy† with details. To contrast the stories, the stories are written in different types of third person, using imagery the authors describe different parts in the story and the stories plots were completely different. In Country lovers the plot was a love story. In The Welcome Table the plot was an old black lady not being allowed in a white person’s church. The type of point of view used in Alice Walker’s story is third person omniscient which allows the reader to see the action but to know the feelings of those involved. She used this to let the reader feel and know what the main character was thinking and feeling, and at the same time still tell what everyone else is doing around her. By writing in this version of third person the story was more informative. Had she written the way Nadine Gordimer wrote her story the reader would not fully understand what the main character was feeling. The point of view in which Nadine Gordimer wrote her story is first person objective. First person objective is â€Å"an external narrator who takes a detached approach to the action and characters, usually to create a dramatic effect, and does not enter into their minds.† (Clangston 2010). By writing this way she made the story more dramatic and kept the audience guessing until the end. If Country lovers were written like The Welcome Table Paulus would not have been as much of an influence in the story as he is now. Using imagery the authors went two completely different ways. One described qualities of the main character and little about the setting the other described the setting at multiple times. Nadine Gordimer wanted the reader to be standing next to the characters, seeing and almost being able to feel the setting throughout the story. Alice Walker on the other hand, wanted the reader to see the qualities of the old lady. She wanted the reader to be able to visualize every wrinkle and weather beaten inch of the old lady’s body. Other items the authors did differently were similes and character names. The only character named in The Welcome Table was Jesus. In country lovers almost every character in the story was named. By doing this the author makes the reader create a picture of the characters and it helps them understand the story line better. The Welcome Table used more similes than Country lovers. Nadine Gordimer wrote the story as if it were unfolding in front of the reader’s eyes. Alice Walker wrote in a past tense type of way. She put different selections of words in to make it seem as if she was there and was telling it to a school class trying to make them think. Both of the literary works are short stories. The way they write involves setting and specific details. They do not use a lot of dialog between characters, which would be indicative of a play. Short stories are close to the being written like a play would. A play is written with multiple characters. They all have multiple lines that describe what the story is supposed to be betraying. There are multiple set or setting changes throughout plays. The setting changes coincide with acts. Acts break up a play into many different parts. They will lead the audience into the next set of events that is about to happen. Inside each act is a scene, multiple scene makes up one act. The way plays are written compared to the way short stories are written are very different yet close in some parts. When a play is written it almost like reading a conversation between the characters with some describing lines to give a setting. Both The welcome table and Country lovers are written in the same form as compared to a play. They both do not use acts or scenes in the stories. With that being said Country Lovers could be turned into a play with the details and characters used throughout it. The lack of dialog and setting details in The Welcome Table would make it very hard to be turned into a play. In Country Lovers the author describes the setting very well. This helps the reader visualize what is happening and what the characters are doing and how they are acting. In this paper I compared and contrasted many different ways of writing between Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer and The Welcome Table by Alice Walker. Both writers used the same theme, race and inequality. They also used many of the same literary terms. Some of which were the same however most of which were not. They taught us that there is not a specific way every term or type of writing had to be written, there are many different ways to write the same thing. The welcome table and country lovers share the same theme but are adversely different in many ways, yet in some they are a lot alike. Some examples I explained were imagery, point of view, and character. The theme may be the same but Country lovers and The Welcome Table do not share the same plot or story line. Every story paints a picture, yet some paint in different ways. I also described how the forms of the short stories are written compared to a play. Country Lovers was written in great detail of the characters and the setting. The Welcome table on the other hand lacks the qualities and elements that Country Lovers have. Which would make Country lovers much easier to turn into a play compared to The welcome table. References Explore  » Books, Literature, and Writing (105,185)  »Books and Novels (16,746) Clangston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Bradley, David (1984). The New York Times. New York Times Company â€Å"Nadine Gordimer – Nobel Lecture: Writing and Being†. 14 Aug 2012 The Welcome Table from BookRags and Gale’s For Students Series.  ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.

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