The story: annotated
Prepare a presentation to post in your blog including some of the followin information (pair work):
1) What is the significance of the division in the two rows of trees and the ‘parallel clouds?’- think about South African society at the time.
2) How does the way in which the “coloured” man is described or labelled change throughout the narrative, what is the significance of this?
3) How does the setting of the story reflect the state of society during the time period?
4) What is the author trying to convey to his readers by purposefully making the characters in the narrative anonymous?
5) Find uses of derogatory lexis towards the ‘coloured’ man. Find the meanings behind some of these words. Does the use of these words have any significance, or are they just common for the time?
7) What information can you gather about the ‘tormentors’ from their speech and description?
8) What is the significance of the title “The Lemon Orchard”. Explain in detail.
9) Discuss the effectiveness of the ending and what implications you draw from it.
10) What was the author’s purpose in writing this story? Consider the time period, the race of the writer and his affiliations.
11) Discuss sections of the story in which the ‘coloured man’ is described as “uncivilised” and when the “baas” highlights the importance of respect. What is ironic about this statement from the leader?
Questions for analysis
1) Find semantic fields of obfuscation (ie language of things being hidden or obscured). For instance “the moon was hidden”, cloud like “dirty cotton wool” but also lots of others. Why does La Guma do this? What atmosphere is created and what can this hidden world symbolise about the society he is writing in?
2) At the end of the story there is some beautiful imagery with “the moonlight clung for a
while…quivering shine of scattered quicklsilver” — however, there is a lot of language of
transience in this fleeting moment of beauty before the brutality begins. Explore the language and techniques and then consider the symbolism of this brief moment juxtaposed before the inevitable violence.
3) The dog barks as the men are introduced, then stops abruptly. The likely reason behind an abrupt cease to the barking is the intervention of the owner. What could this symbolise? The dog begins to bark again as the men come to the place that they are going to beat the man — what could this imply and signify?
4) How is the black man ironically presented as more educated, more noble and arguably
stronger than his captors?
Time to write: share your essay in a drive (individual)
2) How does La Guma make the opening of the story so dramatic?
Poster (group work)
Prepare a poster that includes:
-a drawing, some collage, pictures from internet, etc
-a quote to accompany your photos
-a quote to prove racism and discrimination
-a quote that contains a literary device