Style of language

The language used by Nadine Gordimer in “Country Lovers” is formal, using standard grammatical structures and complex vocabulary: 

The judge commended the honourable behaviour of the husband (sitting in court in a brown-and-yellow-quartered golf cap bought for Sundays) who had not rejected his wife and had even provided clothes for the unfortunate infant out of his slender means. (ll. 230-233)

The choice of words helps create an atmosphere typical for South-African rural environments. The author inserts plenty of words associated with the South-African landscape: “kraal” (l. 15) – the traditional African village of huts; “koppies” (l. 7) – small hills; “veld” (l. 129) – open grassland found in Africa. The narrative also mentions terms which are meant to symbolize segregation and class differences, like “missus and baasie” (l. 13). These words show how black people were supposed to address their white employers during apartheid.

Towards the end of the story, the author uses vocabulary associated...

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