The Dystopian Vision of a Revolutionary Surge: A Study of Nadine Gordimer’s July’s People

  •  Mahmoud Ibrahim Ibrahim Radwan    


In Nadine Gordimer’s July’s People, an equivocal standpoint on the part of the central narrative consciousness towards a hypothesized revolution, that overturns the system of apartheid, brings about several perplexing questions many of which contest claims of any favorable repercussions of the upheaval. The narrative presentation of the revolution negates all the ethics according to which successful revolutions are undertaken. Instead of fulfilling on the level of the narrative a utopian vision of post-apartheid South Africa with a promise of liberation, July’s People persists in foregrounding and underscoring a Manichean polarized realm within which blacks are stigmatized as tepid numbs who lack all potential and prowess and thus are unfit for self-rule. On the other hand, whites are depicted, in conformity with their commendatory image as industrious and inventive people who are caught in the dilemma of interregnum and thus arouse the sympathy of the readers. The paper investigates the puzzling issue of how the revolution and its devotees are extraneous to the parameters of the text. It also examines the ways in which July’s People conveys the discrepancy in upholding the revolutionary ascendancy of blacks in post-apartheid South Africa while reinforcing in admirable ways white superiority and eminence represented by the Smales’ family in their forced existence among the black community of July, their ex-servant.

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  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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