Alex La Guma and the Crisis of Social Transformation in "The Stone Country"



The racially segregationist regime that led South Africa since 1948 under the concept of Apartheid created a society that established two nations in one society. The socio-political polarity that antagonized blacks and whites widened the gap which incited the oppressed to reclaim their denied humanity. This paper explores how Alex La Guma, in his novel "The Stone Country", grapples with the hardships that await the black man to liberate himself from the claws of the white man. The paper argues that freedom and human dignity are irreplaceable rights for an individual’s humanity; any breach of them would result in enslavement of the subject. The discussion is guided by a New historicist approach from Greenblatt (1982) to comprehend the narrative’s instances of violence that connect La Guma’s characters to the historically socio-cultural and political hardships that are undermining the society they seek to liberate. In the end, it is noted that the call for individual freedom requires collective commitment.


apartheid; black; white; freedom; humanity; revenge

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