July's People Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of July's People.
This section contains 684 words
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Race

The fighting taking place in South Africa is divided along racial lines. One race had enjoyed power over another race for decades and the imbalance was being adjusted through violent means. In this novel, race is defined in two terms—whiteness and blackness. Whiteness is associated with access, privilege, power and wealth while blackness is associated with poverty, servitude and inferiority. Some white South Africans like the Smales believe themselves to be sympathetic to the plight of black people until their plight threatens their comfortable existence.

Notions of race and its perceived power are both confirmed and challenged when the Smales arrive in July’s all-black, rural village. Some symbols of race—July’s service to the white family—remain for a time while others—July’s complete obedience to the Smales instructions— disappear never to return. Even the children know of the existence of race. Victor becomes...

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This section contains 684 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the July's People Study Guide
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