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Nadine Gordimer's Works (Reaction) [Pt. 3]




I believe that freedom of expression in any form is right. It releases our emotion on how we perceive an event that happened during a period in time. What I’m not happy about is that in some countries, this freedom is not fully exercised; sometimes it’s never exercised. They ban literary pieces that attack the government (Cuba for example), art that violates religion (like the recent banning of the galley of Mideo Cruz at CCP), and many others.

It is hindering the human imagination. It blocks the way how we can think differently. How we take an issue and put it to something that will greatly have an impact to everyone. It is sad that this should censorship happens. Freedom of expression should always exists in a society, regardless of its political and religious view.

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Her short story, “Train From Rhodesia”, deals with the aspect of dehumanization paired with the post-colonial Africa. To summarize, a train enters a poverty-stricken village in Africa. The native vendors, who’ve been waiting for the train’s arrival, gathered along carrying wooden carvings of various animals. As a young woman of foreign nationality leans out from a window and admires a wooden carving of a lion, she refuses to buy it because of its price. But her husband manages to bargain at the last moment when the train has already begun to leave the station; this lead to the woman being angry for buying it at a cheap price.

She actually valued the statue; but she hesitated at first because she thought it was expensive. Nevertheless she highly valued it because of how she refused to accept it from her husband. If she accepted it, she would underestimate the real value of the statue.

But more than anything, she found herself guilty of what her people have done to the poor Africans; they made things worse by ridiculing and exploiting them instead of making things better for these people. Her husband views these people as insignificant, but not her. She saw them as human beings who were suffering not for their own fault, but because of the greed the colonists showed. She thought that they deserve better treatment and should be appreciated



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