Playing In The Light Analysis

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Zoe Wicomb’s novel, Playing in the Light (2006), is set in the 1990s in Cape Town, South Africa, post apartheid. The novel revolves around Marion, the protagonist, and her intricate relationship with Brenda, the first person of color she has ever employed at her travel agency business. This post apartheid novel offers interesting and an insightful viewpoint of South Africa following the fall of apartheid. By analyzing the passages in this novel, one will be able to better understand race in the context of South Africa.
The first excerpt in analysis is situated after Brenda was hired by Marion and she is introduced to the work sphere (Wicomb 2006:19). The novel discusses how Boetie Van Graan was skeptical of Brenda’s arrival. In comparison
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Throughout the passage, diverse vocabulary was utilized to paint a vivid picture of a professional space post apartheid; the first being that Boetie Van Graan’s skepticism, “was to be expected” (Wicomb 2006:19). This simple phrase illustrates that employing a person of color immediately following the fall of apartheid was still an act that some white South Africans were not comfortable with. Illustrating this notion, eNCA.com reporter Bibi-Aisha Wadvalla covers the story of, White South Africans in Apartheid Denial (2013). The article and video cover of the story discuss a study produced by a Reconciliation Barometer survey that polled over four thousand citizens of South Africa, covering a variety of racial groups. Noting the limitations of the study, such as not being aware of where these people were surveyed, as well as the small sample size, the study produces interesting findings. The survey states that four out of every ten South Africans believe that apartheid was not wrong in its oppressive actions, as well as one third of white South Africans believing that poverty in South Africa in the present day is not a result of apartheid (Wadvalla, 2013). Seeing that this data was gathered twenty years apart the first democratic election in South Africa,
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