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"The Old Chief Mshlanga"

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Blake Bunner

on 19 March 2011

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Transcript of "The Old Chief Mshlanga"

Write about a time when you thought your judgment was better than your parents.
One time I told my dad to leave my steer inside because he was new to people being around him. Well, he didn’t listen to me and let him out and then he spent four hours trying to catch him. When we got him back inside my dad thought that we should leave Finnegan inside for a couple weeks. "The Old Chief Mshlanga"
By:Doris Lessing Post-Journal
Do you agree with Nkosikaas views on racisms? Why or why not?
Yes, because she tries to treat them as equals, even though everyone chooses not to. She attempts to go against society in doing this, making her a brave young girl. She knows that it is the right thing to do by going against her society, and going against racism.
Setting Irony Theme Even though you do something right, it does not mean that everyone will accept it The whole overall story is set in Africa. This gives the reader an idea of the landscape and how the people in that country make money, through farming.

She is first seen on the path, which is where she first meets the old Chief Mshlanga, and decides to go against society by not making the dogs chase him

Next Nkosikaas is found in her home where she descirbes her life with black servants and how the other people treat them. This gives the views of society in the story

Then Nkosikaas decided to go the Kraal to see the chief and his son. This place is where all the natives live, as if it was their own little town. It is full of colorfull clothes and people that were different to her Works Cited Lessing,Doris. “The Old Chief Mshlanga.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Eds. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998. Page 560-567. Print “Biography.” Doris Lessing. N.p. December 3, 2010 Conflict Doris Lessing was born on October 22, 1919 in Persia, which is present day Iran. Her father, who was crippled in World War I, was a clerk at the Imperial Bank of Persia, while her mother was a nurse. In 1925 the family moved to a British Colony in Southern Rhodesia, where they thought they were promised to become rich through maize farming.
While Doris's mother adapted to the rough life of farming among savages, her father could not handle the failing farm. Lessing says that her childhood was a mixture of some pleasure and much pain. Her only retreat was when she would explore the world with her brother, Harry. This gets her away from her mother, who was obsessed with raising the proper daughter. Her mother enforced a rigid system of rules and hygiene in the home.
Doris attended a convent school where she was terrified by the nun’s stories of hell and damnation. After this she was sent to an all-girl high school in the capital of Salisbury, but she soon dropped out at the age of thirteen, ending her formal education. Unlike other South African woman who had a poor education, Lessing worked to become a self-educated woman. At fifteen, Lessing left the household to take a job as a nursemaid. Through her employer she gains books on politics and sociology to read. During this time she wrote short stories, selling two to magazines in South Africa.
In 1937, she moved to Salisbury to work as a telephone operator for a year. When she was nineteen she married Frank Wisdom and had two children. A few years later she began to feel trapped and decided to leave her family but remained in Salisbury. She then joined a club called the Left Book Club, where she married the central member Gottfried Lessing and had a son.
By 1949, Lessing moved to London with her son, and published her first novel, The Grass Is Singing, to begin her professional writing career. Most of Lessing’s fiction is autobiographical, coming from her childhood experiences. Due to her excessive writings about the African culture and how the white colonists acted toward the black Africans, in 1956 Lessing was declared a prohibited alien in both Southern Rhodesia and South Africa.
Over the years Lessing has produced many famous novels, and was awarded the Man Booker International Prize in 2005 and he Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007. Her most famous novel was known as The Golden Notebook, written in 1962. Her most recent novel is Alfred and Emily, and has announced it to be her last and final book.
"The Old Chief Mshlanga" is from That was the Old Chief’s Country, produced in 1951. These are a collection of African stories that reflects her early career as a writer. Most of these stories are centered on her childhood, giving an insight into the life of her. Since Lessing uses previous life experiences it allows the reader obtain a detailed image of Africa, and how the narrator feels in this story. Although this story was written over fifty years ago, it still applies to everyday life of African people. Nkosikaas vs. Society - Nkosikaas goes against society when she tries to become friends with the natives. Instead of going along with everyone else hating the natives she decides to do the right thing and be nice but she knows her society will not accept her that way. In the end of the story she realizes that she must be accepted by her society, rather then help the old chief.

Nkosikaas vs. Self - Nkosikaas fights with herself when deciding if she should be nice to the natives or if she should do the ethical thing and be nice to the natives. She decides to be nice to the natives for a short time, but when they move she never see's them again

Father vs. Old Chief Mshlanga - This conflict occurs when Old Chief Mshlanga's goats get out and destroy Nkosikaas father's land, they argued about what should be done with the goats. In the end her father ends up keeping all twenty goats and the old chief's kraal is forced to move.

Old Chief Mshlanga vs. Society - Old Chief Mshlanga goes against society by being a native. They do not accept him because of his culture Situational - When Nkosikaas goes to the Kraal to get disapproved by the black people, where she generally disapproves of them
Situational – Nkosikaas brings the dogs and the gun to protect her but she ends up using them against other people but she uses the dogs in a different way in the end
Situational - Even though the parents are discriminate towards the natives the daughter learns how to break away from that
Situational - Even though the white people own more land, it appers to be a dark place where there crops don't grow as well, and the natives own little land but havve green fields and healthy crops
Vocabulary Amorphous [uh-mawr-fuh s] adjective – lacking definite form
Mealie [mee-lee] noun – a South African word for corn
Veld [velt] noun – the open country bearing grass, bushes, or shrubs, generally used for grazing
Vlei [flei] noun- an area of low marshy ground, especially one that feeds into a stream
Kopje [kop-ee] noun – a small hill covered with vegetation and rocks
Kaffir [kaf-er] noun – a pejorative word for the various Bantu peoples and their languages
Kraal [krahl] noun – fenced-in native villages
Stately [steyt-lee] adjective – majestic or excellent
Stoicism [stoh-uh-siz-uh m] noun – repression of emotion and indifference to pleasure and pain
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