The main characters of the short story “Amnesty” by Nadine Gordimer are the narrator and her fiancé. The narrator, a South African black woman, works in a farm school in the village. The narrator’s fiancé, who used to work for a construction company, is imprisoned for five years because of his anti-apartheid activism. When the two characters are reunited, the narrator feels that the man is estranged and detached, more preoccupied with political issues than with his family.

The narrator

Outer characterization

The narrator is one of the main characters in the short story “Amnesty” by Nadine Gordimer. She is a young black South African woman who works “in the farm school” (p. 25, l. 26) and who has passed her “Standard 8” (p. 25, l. 25). She has three brothers and mentions that two of them “had gone away to work in town” (p. 25, l. 27) without sending money to help the rest of the family. Because her family is black, they are forced to work for a white farmer:

My father and other brother work here for the Boer and the pay is very small, we have two goats, a few cows we’re allowed to graze, and a patch of land where my mother can grow vegetables. No cash from that. (pp. 25-26, l. 28, ll. 1-4)

The narrator is engaged to a man who used to work for a construction company and who is currently imprisoned. At the time she narrates, she has a daughter who is almost six years old and she is pregnant with her second child. 

Inner characterization

Although she mentions that she has studied and passed her “Standard 8” (p. 25, l. 25) to be able to work in the farm school, the narrator is profoundly ignorant throughout most of the story. First, when she learns that her fiancé is imprisoned on Robben Island, she reveals that she cannot imagine an island in the middle of the sea:

We all knew about the Island. Our leaders had been there so long. But I have never seen the sea except to colour it in blue at school, and I couldn’t imagine a piece of earth surrounded by it. I could only thin...

Texten ovan är bara ett utkast. Endast medlemmar kan se hela innehållet.

Få tillgång till hela webboken.

Som medlem av kan du få tillgång till hela innehållet.

Köp ett medlemskap nu

Redan medlem? Logga in