Professor: Stephanie Cook
Understanding The Whole picture
The way society is now is not the way it used to be. African Americans were looked down upon, and they were treated differently than whites. Many Authors have written stories about the prejudice people have suffered. Both The Welcome Table and Country Lovers are stories about discrimination and prejudice. In this paper I will compare and contrast these two short stories. I will also show you were the discrimination and prejudice lie in both stories, and then I will explain how they are different from one another. The Welcome Table written by Alice Walker is a story about racism; the white people think that they are too good to share their church with an African American woman. The story is told in third person, and is about an elderly woman who walks in the cold and horrible weather. She is dressed in what she thinks is her Sunday best, it is probably the only nice clothes she has, and she is very proud of it and herself. All she wants to do is praise God, but she goes to a white people’s church. When she arrives they are all stunned at the sight of a black woman in their church. These people who are supposed to be Christians and walk with God end up being horrible to her, and throwing her out. Even the preacher tells her that she should not be there. As she walks away, Jesus starts to walk beside her and talk to her. To everyone who is watching, it looks like she is talking to herself, and they think she is just a crazy old lady. In the end the elderly woman disappears, and is never seen again. There is a rumor that she died alongside the road. Little did they know or even care that she went home with her Lord, where she is not judged by the color of her skin(Clugston, 2014). This story shows how horrible discrimination is. It can make people be very hurtful, and it can destroy the person it is against.
“Country Lovers” by Nadine Gordimer is a short story about the forbidden love between a white man and a black woman that turns deadly in the end. This story is also written in third person. The story starts out with a girl named Thebedi and a boy named Paulus. Thebedi is a slave, and Paulus is her master’s son. When they were little they struck up a friendship, which later turned in to a romantic relationship. They are not supposed to see each other since white people being friends with black people is forbidden, so Paulus tells her when to meet him by the river where they will not be seen. On one of these meetings their relationship becomes sexual. Eventually Thebedi becomes pregnant, and Paulus does not know. Then Paulus leaves and goes to college, and comes back to find his love has moved on. Paulus sees that Thebedi has married and had a baby. Paulus is so mad that the baby is his he puts poison in the baby’s milk, and the baby dies(Clugston, 2014). What makes this situation unique from the other story isthat this takes place in South Africa during apartheid. So, it was against the law for these two to be together.
Country Lovers is a story of prejudice. Prejudice can be defined as making a judgment about someone or something without having the facts (Dictionary.com). Paulus came back from college, and was prejudice against Thebedi, because she was married to another man, and had a baby. Prejudice can have nothing to do with the color of someone skin, it can just come down to not knowing all the facts. This is exactly what happened in the Country Lovers. It is not a story of discrimination but Prejudice, and it is not even the fact that she is married to someone of color, but that fact that she had moved on and married someone else. He thought she had been unfaithful to him. Paulus had gone crazy. Many people believe that prejudice can make some people go crazy (Social Forces, 2007). In this case it seemed to drive him crazy to the point of murder.
The Welcome Table is