Mrs. Plum Essay

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Brent has a Ph.D. in American Culture, specializing in film studies, from the University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and teaches courses in the history of American cinema. In the following essay, Brent discusses the significance of the dogs in Mphahlele's story.

In the 1972 short story "Mrs. Plum," Ezekiel (or Es'kia) Mphahlele addresses issues of black-white relations during the era of apartheid in South Africa through the narrator's focus on the white peoples' treatment of their pet dogs. Karabo, the narrator, is a young black South African woman working as a maid in the home of Mrs. Plum, a white woman active in organizing for the rights of blacks. Although Mrs. Plum is a liberal and makes many gestures toward treating Karabo fairly, she nevertheless harbors many racist attitudes toward blacks and continues to treat her black employees in a demeaning and unfair manner...

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This section contains 2,428 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mrs. Plum Study Guide
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Mrs. Plum from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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