n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - Making long statements with short stories : Alex La Guma's short stories as vignettes about life in South Africa

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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As a specific genre of prose work, the short story is often marked by conciseness, unity of impression and brevity of form which often precludes any leisurely development of its few characters and social milieu. Ever since its resurgence in the nineteenth century in the hands of Edgar Allan Poe, its first critical theorist, the short story has not only become less parabolic and surrealistic but more popular and realistic. As a committed and realistic writer, Alex La Guma not only uses his five novels but also finds his numerous short stories handy in portraying the oppressive realities against the non-white in the heydays of the apartheid regime of South Africa. The significance of this research can be seen in the fact that through the six short stories that constitute the spine of this paper, La Guma makes long statements of concern about the pathetic life of the non-whites in South Africa in order to prick the conscience of the world to take action. The paper concludes that although South Africa is now a democratic country, La Guma's short stories, like his novels, remain timeless reminders of the brutal excesses of the apartheid regime to scholars and readers who are likely to find them extremely useful for their research and general interest with regard to South African issues.

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