Theme and message

The main theme explored in the short story “No Witchcraft for Sale” by Doris Lessing is that of the culture clash between white settlers and native Africans. The author explores this theme through the motifs of modern and traditional medicine and money. Doris Lessing’s message in this story is that people belonging to different cultures have different approaches to health, but that this does not mean one approach is correct and the other is wrong.

Culture clash

Culture clash is largely defined as conflict or disagreement between two parties who have different cultural beliefs, values, or practices. “No Witchcraft for Sale” by Doris Lessing explores the conflicting approaches to medicine between white settlers and native Africans.

In the story, a native man who descends from a tribal healer uses an African remedy (a root plant) to save the son of his masters from going blind from snake venom. Thankful and impressed, his masters spread the word about Gideon’s knowledge. In African culture, being a healer means having secret knowledge about remedies that other people do not have, particularly white people.

However, the masters, the Farquar family, cannot understand this is the reason why ...

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