Race And Ethnicity: Analysis Of Literary Works

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Race and Ethnicity: Analysis of Literary Works

Race and Ethnicity: Analysis of Literary Works


Racism dates back to the beginning of human existence, when small, isolated communities feared those who looked different or practiced different customs. Among the first civilizations, economic success and technological prowess incited a sense of superiority and the characterization of other population groups as “savage” or in some way inferior. This paper discusses race and ethnicity in “The Welcome Table” by Alice Walker and “Town and Country Lovers” by Gordimer.

Thesis Statement

Race and ethnicity is the central theme of “The Welcome Table” by Alice Walker and “Town and Country Lovers” by Gordimer.


Both works “The Welcome Table” by Alice Walker and “Town and Country Lovers” by Gordimer brilliantly present the themes of Race and ethnicity. It is also very important to know the authors of both works Nadine Gordimer, is the author of “Town and Country Lovers”. (Gordimer, 1988)

On the other hand, there's nothing quite like a Pulitzer Prize to highlight a little famous writer. Walker has always had a small but enthusiastic following, while her many essays, published in black- and feminist-oriented magazines (e.g., Essence, Ms.) and have likewise kept her name current, albeit in rather limited circles (Walker, 2003).


In a 1992 speech, Nobel Prize-winning South African author Nadine Gordimer explained that the task of the African writer has been “to bring to our people's awareness and that of the planet the factual aspects of colonialism and racism beyond those that can be attained by the screen image and newspaper column, yet valuable these can be” (Living in Hope). Gordimer claims that although news coverage and photographs are important modes for documenting the realities of the racism that festered under apartheid, “the last act in civilization's shameful saga of colonialism” fiction is a necessary and uniquely powerful “weapon of struggle”. Gordimer asserts that fiction—rather than journalism or political essays—provides the clearest picture of apartheid and its legacy, insisting that “nothing I write in such factual pieces will be as true as my fiction”. (Lazo, 2000)

Shedding light on the truth of South African apartheid, Gordimer's short story “Town and Country Lovers” presents two parallel stories of interracial couples that highlight the human costs of racial segregation, racist subordination, and disenfranchisement. “Town and Country Lovers” proceeded the fall of apartheid in South Africa and, like many other of Gordimer's works, heightened international awareness of apartheid through its exposure of the policies of the South African government. The story originally appeared in the New Yorker under the title “City Lovers” and soon after was published in the 1980 collection A Soldier's Embrace. (Nnaemeka, 1997)

“The Welcome Table” is a great novel by Alice Walker regarding an old black woman who walks for numerous miles to focus on the worship service at a church only for whites. Even if it is narrated in third person, it is printed from the viewpoint of several of the congregants who are either scared of her, or sense invaded or ...
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