The major highlight of the story is the concept of dehumanization. It’s simply wrong to make someone suffer for your own amusement. It’s cruel to treat them inhuman. In the story where the husband bargains shows a human soul as an object of amusement. He exhibited to motive in obtaining the object at a low price because he considered bargain a mere fun. He just made a poor vendor work hard just to sell the status for such a low price, portraying his ridicule to the worker. This is the reason why the wife feels it is wrong to accept the lion statue. This inevitably showed that life in their place was merely a “game” for these rich people but a constant, painful struggle for the poor.
The story helps us apprehend the true meaning of gift: a symbol which reflects and reminds you constantly of the giver. It will represent the care and affection the giver placed and more importantly, it will tell you that the giver understood you. It’s clear how a gift is so much more meaningful that it’s use. These conditions that make something a gift cannot be seen when the lion was given to her; it was a despicable game to the poor vendor, imposing that he could do anything in his pleasure.
After I’ve read the essays and short stories of Gordimer, it truly is an eye-opener to the different situations that happened during her time in Africa. The Apartheid, status of the writers in this world, and even the dehumanization of her fellow countrymen colonized by the European nations was exhibited in these stories. These gave me a glimpse of how hard it is to live in those times where you cannot taste freedom and express any sort of art to the people.
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