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A Drink in the Passage Analysis

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by

Franny Lail

on 15 May 2014

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Transcript of A Drink in the Passage Analysis

A short story by Alan Paton
Follows a black South African and a white South African's unusual night together
They spend time with each other and share a drink in a passage
Revolves around their struggle to connect
Setting
1960 Apartheid South Africa
Blacks, like Simelane, and whites, like van Rensburg, did not associate in South Africa at this time.
Many laws limited black South African's freedoms and white South Africans were very racist.
This racism is what made it hard for van Rensburg and Simelane to connect.
This story could not have taken place at another time or place because the story revolves around the fact that Simelane and van Rensburg are so very different.
Symbols, Irony, and Suspense
Simelane's sculpture, "African Mother and Child", symbolizes the universal feelings of a mother's love
vanRensburg wants to meet Simelane so badly but has no idea that he has spent the whole night with him.
Simelane could get caught at any moment for being in the city and for drinking.
He does not know if he will miss the train.
Characters
Edward Simelane- an educated black South African sculptor, protagonist.
Jannie vanRensburg- an uneducated white South African
Characters face the challenge of connecting with each other, caused by a difference in their race.
Development: In the beginning, Simelane believes it is not possible and he does not want to "touch" or be "touched" by vanRensburg but, by the end, he is hopeful blacks and whites can "touch" one day.
Franny Lail
A Drink in the Passage Analysis
Plot Summary
Theme
Racism can create divides that keep individuals from connecting with each other.
Van Rensburg wants to touch Simelane so badly but, the separation between them is too great.
The racial divide caused by apartheid keeps Simelane from letting van Rensburg in because he does not know if he is able to trust him.
The theme is explicit and can be seen throughout the whole story.
Point of View
Frame Story
Begins with 1st person narration by Alan Paton
Switched to 1st person narration by Simelane
Goes back to 1st person narration by Paton
The End!!!
Full transcript