NAdine Gordimer Research Essay

Submitted By eellis3
Words: 1666
Pages: 7

Prologues set the stage. Parents and guardians automatically set the stage in a child’s life. About one third of abused children will grow up and become abusers (Child Abuse Facts). This is due to the nature of children. When children are young, all they do is learn. Parents or authority figures are given the hard task of teaching children what is right and what is wrong. If a child is taught that the only way to receive respect is to harm another, then the child will begin to use physical strength rather than words. Adults are not only the genetic makeup of their children, but they are catalysts for the child’s future. Nadine Gordimer would not be an acclaimed writer without her mother’s influence, and her isolated childhood. Although they loved each other, Nadine’s parents could not have been more polar opposites when it came to politics. Her father was a Jewish immigrant from Tsarist, Russia, this helped Gordimer find her niche in politics. He was not involved in politics himself; he felt no empathy towards blacks during apartheid, a policy/system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. If he was the only parent present during Gordimer’s childhood, then it is likely that Gordimer would have also been isolated from politics and the world around her. Gordimer discovered her passion for activism from her mother, who was known throughout her community to be giving towards others. Even though it was uncommon during the time, her mother created a daycare for black children. Gordimer’s writing shows a large amount of compassion towards blacks during the apartheid time period. Many believe her writing is cold and heartless “I’ve never understood this business of warmth. And I’m curious about it. I am myself a person of strong feelings—no hates, really, but deep loves ... [But] I can’t see warmth/lack of warmth as a literary quality ” (A Mixture of Ice and Fulfilled Desire). This shows the effect her father had on her writing skills because he was not a man of warmth towards other people. Without her mother in her life, Gordimer would have only learned from her father, making it harder for her to spark an interest in the apartheid debacle. Her mother ultimately set the stage for Gordimer’s work in the anti-apartheid movement. Since parents are the main caretakers of a child until adulthood, they have control over certain aspects of his or her childhood. Gordimer was educated at a Catholic school, but was mostly homebound because her mother did not like her spending too much time with her classmates. Later, she decided to withdraw Gordimer from school because she believed her daughter had a weak heart. Her mother also did not allow Gordimer to have many friends, resulting in her experiencing a very isolated childhood, free from others’ thoughts and opinions. A variable present in many acclaimed writers is isolation, for example, Nathaniel Hawthorne. It allows the writer to delve into personal opinion and dig deeper into all of their work, without an outside opinion. She also spent a large amount of her childhood reading, “From Ernest Hemingway's stories, I learned to listen within my stories for what went unsaid by my characters” (Gordimer). This shows the depth of her writing style. Since she was home so much, Gordimer began writing at a young age. Starting at an early age gave Gordimer the upper hand of being able to experiment and fully develop her unique writing style. Her first published work was at the age of 15, a short story called “The Quest for Seen Gold”. The publishing of her first story gave Gordimer a sense of confidence and made her want to continue writing. Without isolation in her childhood, Gordimer would not have had an adequate amount of focus to become a great writer. The isolation also helped Gordimer stay true to her anti-apartheid feelings, instead of being swayed by other people her age. As a young adult, Gordimer finally mixed with fellow professionals