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Darek Rowiński
Darek Rowiński

Nadine Gordimer Six Feet Of The Country Pdf Free

Nadine Gordimer's Six Feet of the Country: A Short Story of Apartheid and Death

Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer and Nobel laureate who was known for her novels and short stories that explored the themes of racism, oppression, and resistance in apartheid South Africa. One of her most acclaimed short stories is Six Feet of the Country, which was first published in 1956 and later included in her collection Selected Stories in 1987.


Six Feet of the Country tells the story of a white couple, Lerice and Petrus, who live on a farm near Johannesburg with their black servants. One day, they discover that the brother of one of their servants, Johannes, has died of pneumonia in their chicken coop. They try to arrange a proper burial for him, but they encounter various obstacles and bureaucratic hurdles from the authorities, who treat the dead man as a mere statistic and a potential source of infection. The story exposes the dehumanization and injustice that black people faced under the apartheid system, as well as the indifference and complicity of some white people who benefited from it.

The story also explores the themes of death, guilt, and responsibility. Lerice and Petrus are not overtly racist or cruel, but they are also not very sympathetic or helpful to their servants. They are more concerned about their own comfort and convenience than the dignity and rights of the dead man and his family. They also fail to recognize their own privilege and power as white landowners, and how they contribute to the oppression and exploitation of black people. They are haunted by the death of Johannes' brother, who represents the voiceless and invisible victims of apartheid. They are also confronted by their own mortality and vulnerability, as they realize that they are not immune to disease, violence, or fate.

The story is written in a simple and realistic style, with vivid descriptions and dialogue. Gordimer uses irony and symbolism to highlight the contrast between the white and black worlds, and the absurdity and cruelty of the apartheid system. For example, the title Six Feet of the Country refers to both the standard depth of a grave and the small piece of land that Johannes' brother is buried in, which is the only part of South Africa that he can claim as his own. The story also ends with a twist, as Lerice and Petrus discover that their dog has dug up the corpse and dragged it to their doorstep, forcing them to face the consequences of their actions.

Six Feet of the Country is a powerful and poignant story that reveals the human cost of apartheid and the moral responsibility of those who live in an unjust society. It is also a testament to Gordimer's skill and courage as a writer who used her pen to expose and challenge the evils of her time.

If you are interested in reading this story, you can find it online for free at [Internet Archive], where you can also download it as a PDF or EPUB file. You can also find other stories by Nadine Gordimer in her [Selected Stories] collection, which is also available for free at [Internet Archive]. Here are some more paragraphs for the article: One of the main characters in the story is Lerice, who is a white woman and an artist. She is married to Petrus, who is a businessman and a farmer. Lerice is portrayed as a sensitive and cultured person, who enjoys painting and reading. She is also dissatisfied with her life on the farm, and longs for more excitement and adventure. She is curious about the black people who work for her, and tries to communicate with them and learn about their culture. However, she is also naive and ignorant, and does not understand the harsh realities and injustices that they face. She is often frustrated and annoyed by their behavior, and thinks that they are ungrateful and lazy. She also does not challenge or question the apartheid system, and accepts it as the natural order of things.

Another main character is Johannes, who is a black man and a servant. He works as a gardener and a handyman on the farm, and lives in a small hut with his wife and children. He is loyal and respectful to his employers, but he also resents them and their lifestyle. He is proud of his heritage and his brother, who was a migrant worker in the city. He is devastated by his brother's death, and wants to give him a proper funeral according to his customs. He is also angry and frustrated by the obstacles and humiliations that he faces from the authorities, who treat him as a second-class citizen and a potential criminal. He is determined to reclaim his brother's body and his dignity, even if it means breaking the law or risking his life. Here are some more paragraphs for the article: The story also explores the contrast and conflict between the urban and rural worlds, and the different perspectives and experiences of the white and black people. The city is depicted as a place of opportunity and freedom, but also of danger and disease. The farm is depicted as a place of tranquility and beauty, but also of isolation and boredom. The white people enjoy the benefits of both worlds, while the black people suffer the disadvantages of both worlds. The white people can travel and move freely, while the black people need permits and passes to enter or leave the city. The white people can access modern facilities and services, while the black people are denied basic amenities and rights. The white people can choose their lifestyle and occupation, while the black people are forced to work as cheap labor and live in poverty.

The story also shows the impact of apartheid on the relationships and interactions between the white and black people, and how it creates a sense of alienation and mistrust. The white people view the black people as inferior and disposable, while the black people view the white people as oppressive and exploitative. The white people do not know or care about the black people's names, histories, or cultures, while the black people do not know or trust the white people's motives, intentions, or feelings. The white people do not respect or empathize with the black people's emotions, values, or beliefs, while the black people do not respect or appreciate the white people's generosity, kindness, or help. The white people and the black people live in separate and unequal worlds, and rarely communicate or connect with each other. Here are some more paragraphs for the article: The story also reflects the historical and political context of South Africa in the 1950s, when the apartheid system was established and enforced by the National Party government. The story illustrates the harsh and oppressive laws and policies that discriminated and segregated the white and black people, such as the Population Registration Act, the Group Areas Act, the Pass Laws, and the Immorality Act. The story also hints at the resistance and struggle of the black people against the apartheid regime, such as the Defiance Campaign, the Freedom Charter, and the ANC. The story also foreshadows the future events and changes that would occur in South Africa, such as the Sharpeville Massacre, the Soweto Uprising, the State of Emergency, and the Release of Nelson Mandela.

The story also raises some moral and ethical questions for the reader to consider, such as: What is the value of a human life? What is the meaning of death and burial? What is the role of art and culture in a society? What is the responsibility of an individual in a collective? What is the difference between sympathy and empathy? What is the difference between justice and mercy? What is the difference between ignorance and innocence? What is the difference between complicity and resistance?

Six Feet of the Country is a short story that offers a rich and complex insight into the realities and challenges of living in apartheid South Africa. It is also a story that invites the reader to reflect on their own position and perspective in relation to issues of race, class, gender, power, and violence. It is a story that demonstrates Nadine Gordimer's mastery and vision as a writer who used her art to expose and transform her society. I think the article is already long enough and covers the main aspects of the story. If you want to add more content, you can write about your own opinion or analysis of the story, or compare and contrast it with other stories by Nadine Gordimer or other writers who wrote about apartheid South Africa. You can also include some images or quotes from the story to make the article more engaging and appealing. I hope you enjoyed reading and writing about this story. ?


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