The short story “Pink” by Judith Thompson is set in the late 1960s in South Africa during the apartheid regime as indicated by the references to marches (street movements against the regime). The events take place at Nellie’s funeral and span over the short monologue of young Lucy. Consequently, we can assume the physical setting is a church or Nellie’s house (at her wake).

Another element of the physical setting is Lucy’s house, where Nellie worked and lived in a “little room back there” (p. 176, l. 18). However, the focus of the short story is the social setting.

Social setting

The social setting illustrates racist and discriminatory attitudes against black native South Africans during the apartheid regime. This was a segregation regime instituted in South Africa in 1948 which separated whites and blacks in terms of education, access to health services, and residential areas. The regime privileged the white population and discriminated against the black.

Lucy’s monologue illustrates numerous...

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