An Act of Vengeance

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere novellen "An Act of Vengeance" af Rosemund J. Handler, som findes i antologien From Apartheid to Zefside, s. 86-91. Udover analysehjælpen kan du finde et summary af teksten samt idéer til fortolkning og perspektivering.

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “An Act of Vengeance” (2005)
Forfatter: Rosemund J. Handler
Genre: Short story

Rosemund J. Handler er forfatter, og har udgivet noveller og romaner i både USA og Sydafrika. I 2010 var hun en af de nominerede til Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Hun er bosat i Cape Town, i Sydafrika. 

Uddrag

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Symbols

One of the key symbols in the story is the dishwasher. The machine is bought by Miss C. Bester, but she never lets her black maid Pauline use it. When a pile of dirty dishes gather, Pauline feels like doing something to the machine to get revenge. The machine becomes a symbol of Miss C. Bester and the alleged superiority of white people, which Pauline comes to resent. Just as Pauline wants to damage the machine, the men who rape Miss C. Bester damage the woman herself. Consequently, the machine becomes a symbol of Miss C. Bester. Finally, the dishwasher is symbolic of the wealth and privileges white people had in South Africa compared to black people.

The symbol of the dishwasher is linked with that of the dirty dishes– which become a symbol of racial prejudice and discrimination. Pauline has to wash the dirty dishes manually, not being deemed good enough to use the machine. This implies Miss C. Bester feels superior because she is white.

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An Act of Vengeance

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