A second hut – Caught between cultures

Setting

  • Time: 1931
  • Place: South Africa / Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)

Characters

  • Major Carruthers
    • alone, good, has to work hard every day, proud -> doesn’t want to confess this an go home, caring and helps Van Heerden, farmer, gentleman, changes his style -> lazy
  • His wife
    • ill, married Major C. because of being a good soldier, can’t cope with the situation, all day long in bed, wants to go home
  • Van Heerden – Dutchman
    • good worker, has 9 children, really poor, treats the natives quite bad, 43 years old, strong arms and shoulders
  • Wife of Van Heerden
    • Fat, ugly, 9 children
  • Bossboy
    • good relationship with Major C.
  • Workers
    • black, hate Van Heerden, have to built up the hut, one of them layed fire to a hut
  • Children
    • at boarding school

Plot

  • Exposition
    • description of the situation -> dutchman arrives
  • Conflict / rising action
    • Major Carruther finds the family-> he decides to build a second hut. Van Heerden hits the workers
  • Climax
    • the hut burns down, death of one child
  • Resolution
    • Major Carruther decides to go back to England -> resignation

Themes

  • racism in the colonies against the natives
  • bad living conditions in the colonies
  • immigration, isolation, search of identity
  • critic against the colonizers

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