Ostemad

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Submitted By ostemad
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The Moment before the gun went off

In the short story, the moment before the gun went off, written by Nadine Gordimer, we hear about a white man shooting a black boy by accident. The white man, Marais van der Vyver, describes in his statement, that it was an accident, that his gun went off through the roof, shooting the black man dead. The story tells us about apartheids fall, black mobs burning down buildings and the tireless fight for equal rights, in the cities. Marais van der Vyver has his farm wired with huge fences around, and we’re told they have a 24/7 radio system with the other farmers to be able to scout for the black mobs or other possible treats, to kill the whites as an act of revenge for the black suppression. Marais is trying to express in the press and in his trial case, that he cared for the boy, and took him hunting now and then. But even though he bought a nice coffin for the boy, he knew that the black people and the whites that are fighting for the black’s rights, would tear him apart and use the incident in the papers and their anti-apartheid propaganda. No one will be able to know whether he shot the boy on purpose or by accident, apart from what the white farmer had said.

The narrator is telling the story from the view of white people. How terrible things have become for them, after the fight for equal rights really has taken off. She is showing us a picture of whites trying to do everything to be superior, even when the apartheid is falling, the white tries to save themselves at all cost, and doesn’t mind to talk them down when they can, which is shown on the last page in the story – “How will they know, when the police stations burn with all the evidence of what has happened now, and what the law made a crime in the past. “
Even in his doomy last seconds, Marais still thinks about how he can escape all the evidence and go free.…...

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