Country Lovers

Country Lovers is a short story written by the South African author Nadine Gordimer. She is a Nobel laureate, as she won the Literature Prize in 1991. The short story takes place in the author's home country, and deals with the consequences of a relationship between a black girl and a white boy during the Apartheid rule.

Short presentation: The black girl Thebedi and the white boy Paulus have been friends their whole lives. During the last years, they have also had a sexual relationship. But they keep it hidden, because it is illegal. When Thebedi discovers that she is pregnant, she doesn't tell Paulus, but marries a black boy named Njabulo instead. As the baby daughter is born, everybody can see that she has light skin and hazel eyes, like Paulus. When Paulus gets to know about the baby, he becomes very upset, visits the baby in the hut and the morning after, the baby is found dead. There is a trial, but Paulus is not judged guilty because of lack of proof.


The main characters are Thebedi, Paulus Eysendyck and Njabulocountrylovers2.jpg. Thebedi and Njabulo are married, but Thebedi has had a relationship with Paulus, which resulted in the birth of their daughter only two months after Thebedi married Njabulo.

At the beginning of the story, we learn that all three have known each others since they were little. Thebedi and Paulus were close friends, even when Paulus went to boarding school and the other children started to address him as baasie - "little master". When they grew older, they became secret lovers. It is also revealed that Njabulo had a crush on Thebedi, but she didn't seem to care, as she already loved Paulus. Paulus was the most dominant person in the relationship, he was talking most of the time and decided where they should hang out and have sex. When Thebedi found out that she was pregnant, she didn't tell Paulus, but married Njabulo, as she thought he might be the father because she had slept with him too. It was an arranged married, Njabulo loved Thebedi but she didn't seem to love him. When Thebedi gave birth to her baby, it was light and has hazel eyes. Although Paulus was clearly the father, Thebedi didn't tell him. Njabulo spent some of his small earnings on baby clothes, and didn't complain at all. When Paulus found out about the baby, he visited Thebedi in the kraal and said that he felt like killing himself, a very selfish act. He didn't care about the baby at all, but despite that Thebedi still felt attracted to him, and that shows how much she loved him. Two days later, he came to the kraal again probably killed the baby. Thebedi went into shock, and broke down in the witness box. A year later, in the final trial, Thebedi was calm and said that her relationship with Paulus was a childhood thing. She had a new baby, and Njabulo was there supporting her. It was obvious that she was finally done with Paulus, and had settled with Njabulo.

Thebedi is an 18 years old, pretty, black, poor girl. She lives in the kraal, and doesn't have much education. Her father works for Paulus's father, and she sometimes helps at the farm and in the house herself.
Paulus Eysendyck is the farmer's 19 years old son. His family is white and rather rich. He went to boardig school and wants to become a veterinary. He did most likely murder his and Thebedi's child, although he was not found guilty in court because of lack of evidence. He probably wanted to kill the baby because relationships between people of different colour were forbidden, and if it was discovered, it would ruin his future. But actually killing the baby was very cruel, and showed that he is selfish.
Njabulo is a bright, young, black boy who also lives in the kraal and works at the farm. He is not rich, but he is very kind and noble, because he took care of Thebedi's baby although he was clearly not the father. He also supported Thebedi after the baby died. He is the most admirable person in the short story, because he puts Thebedi's needs before his own and shows that he truly loves her and cares about her, the opposite of what Paulus does.


Point of view
The point of view in Country lovers is told in a third person. It is used third person because then we get a neutral point of the story, and we don’t natural take side with one of them. We can see that the story is written in third person because the narrator uses the characters names or him or her when he tells the story.
In a first-person point of view, the narrator is participant, an actual character in the story, while in second- and third-person point of view, the narrator is nonparticipant, the narrator is only an implied character, a person who does not take part in the story but only relates it to the audience.


Apartheid is a big part of the story and it`s also a part of the theme because the rich white man were not allowed to have a child with the black woman, when he killed the child he didn`t get punished for that because he was white.

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