Abstract they discussed them in their works. One of


in Nadine Gordimer’s Burger’s Daughter

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now



College of Arts and Sciences For Women,

Elayampalayam ,Tiruchengode,

id:[email protected],



Racism is a word of many
definitions. From the beginning of  South
Africa, there were conflicts with the country, slavery of blacks, and going
against the people. Racism was a fluctuated conflict in the nineteenth century
and still exists today even though there are laws against it. The intellectuals
and writers in this country could not keep silent against these racist practice
and they discussed them in their works. One of these is Nadine Gordimer, the
noble-winning writer in literature. She was a white activist who has been an
eye witness of racist era. In this paper about racism in her novel Burger’s Daughter.

Key words: Racism, Apartheid, Racial Discrimination, Nadine







in Nadine Gordimer’s Burger’s Daughter



College of Arts and Sciences For Women,


id:[email protected],




Burger’s Daughter is about anti-apartheid
in South Africa. They search to overthrow the South African government. Gordimer
novels about South Africa struggle politics, and she knew many of the activist.
Burger’s Daughter was judged to be
indecent and capable of endangering the state of the Republican of South
Africa, on the grounds that its story depicted white characters considered as
bad  and black characters considered as
good. In addition, Gordimer was accused of having written a clearly political
novel whose theme of fostering black militancy posed a threat to the peaceful
co-existence between the separated races of the country.

Racial Discrimination

discrimination is the act of treating someone differently than others because
of the color of his or her skin. This generally happens because of a social
construct, or the attachment to certain meanings to a person’s race, used to
justify the discrimination. Race is the primary determinant of human traits and
capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a
particular race. Racial discrimination occurs when an individual is subjected
to unequal treatment because of their actual or perceived race.


Signs of Racial discrimination

call them by various names instead of their actual name in order to insult

people are made to sit differently away from others

are terminated or demoted from their job and not given any good reason to
justify the decision.

around them humiliate their family and their nature of origin.

Apartheid in Burger’s Daughter

The system of Apartheid was
dismantled and Nelson Mandela ascended from his tiny jail cell to become the
leader of an integrated South Africa. Nadine Gordimer
was got the Nobel Prize for Literature with Burger’s Daughter
specifically for her ability to fuse art and morality. The Guardian included the
novel among the top 10 books ever produced in South Africa. Once against book
banning was proven to be the most effective way to accomplish exactly the
opposite of the intent of the ban and once again the lesson failed to be
learned by those who would follow suit in the future.

Burger’s Daughter is about a group of white anti-apartheid activists in South Africa seeking  to overthrow the South African government. It
is set in the mid-1917’s, and follows the life of Rosa, the title character, as
she comes to terms with her father Lionel Burger’s legacy as an activist in the
South Africa Communist party.

Daughter offers a
fascinating take on the apartheid era, but the novel’s interest goes far beyond
its foregrounding historical merit. It also raises issues of universal
concerns, issues of mind over matter, action over inertia, life over death.
Rosa’s personal struggle to come to terms with her father’s legacy is one of

Following in the footsteps of a
god-like father is a universal challenge for any dutiful child to perceiving
the ultimate meaning of the actions of one’s parents, the pertinence of their
ideology and their real power to change fate and destiny. In our house, Rosa
says, it was believed that changing the world, eliminating private conflicts
set up by the competitive nature of capitalist society would give meanings to
people’s lives. But these political and humanitarian preoccupations neither
acknowledged nor explained the mystery of life and death beyond the revolution

Many of Gordimer’s works have
explored the impact of apartheid on individuals in South Africa. Journalist and
novelist George Packer writes that, as in several of her novels, a theme in Burger’s Daughter  is of racially divided societies in which well-meaning
whites unexpectedly encounter a side of black life they did not know about.
Literary critic Carolyn Turgeon says that while Lionel was able to work with
black activists in the ANC, Rosa discovers that with the rise of the Black
Consciousness Movement, many young blacks tend to view white liberals as
irrelevant in their struggle for liberation. Rosa witnesses this first hand
listening to the black university student in Soweto  and, later, in London, her childhood friend
“Baasie” , who both dismiss her father as unimportant.

Author and academic Louise Yelin
says that Gordimer’s novels often feature white South Africans opposed to
apartheid and racism who try to find their place in a multiracial society.


Gordimer’s Burger’s Daughter  is about apartheid in South Africa.She
became anti-apartheid novelist, her close observation made her to do this. Her
novels are the  representation of people who
either are in distress for being separated from the racism of the society like
whites or suffer from imposed deprivation like the blacks. She is the writer of
commitment and in her novels, she testifies to the predicaments of her society
marked by political issues during apartheid. Gordimer’s literary output serves  through which she expresses her protest against
oppression and rights for people equality and liberation. She is also an
observant witness. Her  writings reflect
the depths of her people’s consciousness and lay bare their psycho-political
development. In her authentic portraits of South Africa, Gordimer calls for a
radical change, a transformation inevitable for the betterment of her
fragmented society.


Boyers, Robert. “Public and Private: On Burger’s Daughter,” in Salmagundi.
LXII (Winter, 1984), pp. 62-92.

Novels of Nadine Gordimer:History from the Inside.London:Bloomsbury
publishing plc.1993.