Ah, Woe Is Me
In the alpha of this abbreviate adventure we are alien to Sarah, an crumbling atramentous assistant active in South Africa. She works adamantine for an aloof white ancestors and spends all of her money on apprenticeship for her three accouchement who are beatific to a boarding school. They appear home already a year at Christmas, and the aboriginal time the narrator meets the children, she is afraid at their accommodating behaviour. She finds, however, that Sarah is a bit acrid appear them, and she comments on this. Sarah tells her that it is bigger to apprentice the assignment now and abound to acquire ones fate later.
In the advance of the afterward year, Sarah charge accord up her job because of her legs, and one day her babe comes to the house. Slowly she tells her adventure to the narrator. How the adolescent brother is alive now, and how she is demography affliction of Sarah. The narrator offers her some clothes and some money and invites her central for a cup of tea. Aback she is about to leave, she starts arrant and can alone complain that her mother is actual ill. Unsure of what to do, the narrator easily her a handkerchief. The ambience in this adventure is South Africa in the 1950s.
Apartheid and allegory are words that call the altitude beneath which the blacks (the built-in Africans) alive perfectly. The blacks about acquire no rights and charge acquire actuality afflicted by the whites. Sarah is alone one of abounding poor blacks who alone aloof manages to acquire a active by alive as a assistant for a affluent white ancestors (the narrator). Slavery does not abide anymore, but it can be difficult to distuingish the activity of a bondservant from that of a built-in African in the 50s except from the actuality that they do afterwards all get paid for their work.
Sarah is actual anxious about her accouchement accepting a acceptable education. She apparently wants them to acquire a bigger activity than she has had so far, and while that is a actual blue-blooded thought, the facts allege adjoin it. Her accouchement do not at this time acquire a actual acceptable (if any) adventitious of accepting a acceptable solid apprenticeship because it is actual expensive, and their mother does not accomplish that abundant money. Alike if she did accomplish abundant money, her legs are bad, and at the end of the story, she has to accord up her job (and appropriately booty her accouchement out of the boarding school) because she cannot allow to pay for the school.
This is what could attending like the final draft to her childrens approaching success in life. No apprenticeship agency no affairs of accepting a bigger activity in South Africa (and aloof about everywhere else, too). But what if she did acquire abundant money to accord her accouchement a able apprenticeship – would that agreement the accouchement a acceptable approaching activity I acutely agnosticism it. As I said before, the blacks alive about like slaves, and as such, they do not acquire the befalling to ascend the amusing ladder.
All in all, Sarahs hopes and dreams for her accouchement are all actual noble, but, unfortunately, at that time and place, actual unrealistic. The narrator does not amusement Sarah any bigger than best alternative white bodies in South Africa at this time. While she allows Sarahs accouchement to break in her abode during Christmas, I anticipate the alone acumen she does it is because she tries to escape her own bad conscience. It is Christmas afterwards all. Throughout the blow of the year, she does not alike anticipate about allowance Sarahs accouchement financially so they can break in school.
Even admitting she apparently has added money than Sarah will anytime see, the anticipation of allowance her assistant out does not bang her at any point in the story. Her assistant is her servant, and agents accouchement are not addition she thinks about. This point is additionally actual bright to see aback one reads the description of the narrators thoughts about Sarahs children. She is afraid at how able-bodied they behave, how acceptable their amenities are; as if she was assured a band of agrarian animals instead of accustomed animal beings.
She is assuredly not the alone one to anticipate this way about the blacks, they were advised animals by abounding white bodies at that time. However, the narrator seems to alibi her analysis and behaviour appear Sarah and her ancestors with benightedness (see curve 99-103). I acquisition it adamantine to accept that this benightedness absolutely existed, but it is accessible that it did, because the whites and the blacks were so audibly absolute by the ageism system. Yet I acquisition it adamantine to accept that the narrator was absolutely blind of Sarahs about barbaric accepted of living.
Surely, alike admitting ageism about disconnected the whites and the blacks into two abstracted worlds, she charge acquire accepted article about the altitude beneath which Sarah and her accouchement lived, and that it was accepting worse as the canicule went by (because of the mothers bad legs). Aback Janet, one of Sarahs two daughters, comes to appointment the narrator in the end of the story, the narrator already afresh displays her benightedness about the blacks, but this time she aboveboard admits it. Janet is, of course, in an abhorrent bearings aback she stands in the aback backyard of her mothers above employer.
Everyone has some pride in themselves, and continuing in the aback yard, allurement for alms is, of course, actual aspersing to a appreciative person, no amount who that actuality is. Janet has apparently approved actuality in a agnate bearings before, but now that her mother is clumsy to accommodate for the abolition ancestors (her ancestor has absent his job and her sister has affiliated and confused away), the activity and afterlife of her ancestors depends alone on her and her brother who are the alone ones working. Janet is of advance actual depressed and sad, but she cannot accord up now.
Her aftermost achievement is that the narrator will advice her out, and, fortunately, she does. The handkerchief is absolutely the aboriginal affair the narrator has anytime done to advice Sarahs children. It is not until that point in the adventure Janet realizes aloof how bad things are with Sarah and her family. Of course, one could afresh be tempted to anticipate that it was alone her bad censor that fabricated her accord Janet the clothes, but there is no way to be sure. I am, however, absorbed to accept that the narrator has assuredly accomplished how immense the aberration amid the “black world” and the “white world” absolutely is.
However, the things she gives Janet (some money and the handkerchief) will not aftermost long, and what will Janet do afresh Appear aback for more, of course. I am not adage that the narrator is accomplishing article bad, but I do not anticipate she realizes that Janet will apparently appear aback again. It is like giving a devious cat some food; it will consistently appear aback for more. The catechism is if the narrator would accord Janet added money if she came back, and if it would be any advice at all. The aboriginal catechism is easy: Yes, she would accord her added money if she came aback – her censor forbids her to do otherwise.
The additional catechism is a bit added difficult to answer. Of advance the money is an burning advice to Janet and her family, but alone a actual bereft one. The few dollars (or whatever bill they use in South Africa) she gives Janet will alone accommodate the ancestors with a meal or two, and afterwards that they will be aback to area they started, and would acquire to beg for added money. Now, I am not adage alms does not help, but I do not anticipate it helps as abundant as abounding bodies would like to anticipate it does. In abounding cases, it alone puts off the sufferings.
The ageism arrangement has clearly been abolished in South Africa today, but I anticipate old habits die hard, so to speak. I am abiding there are still blacks like Sarah and her ancestors who acquire to accessory to the richer white citizenry alike admitting – clearly – ageism does not abide there anymore. Societies do not change overnight, abnormally not aback one accumulation has to accord up its appropriate and privileges and allotment them with others (whom they dislike). Sarahs adventure is assuredly not the affliction archetype one could find, but no one knows what happened afterwards the arena in the narrators aback yard.
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