It is hardly surprising that the ending of Na-dine Gordimer's July's People should have occasioned a fair amount of puzzlement. As Maureen Smales runs towards the helicopter, neither she nor the reader has any way of knowing 'whether it holds saviours or murderers; and—even if she were to have identified the markings—for whom.' And not knowing that, we are left uncertain what to make of the conclusion.
One impression readers may gain from the final pages of the novel is that they constitute what Russian Formalists called a 'zero ending', an ending in which the...
(The entire page is 2390 words.)
Want to read the whole thing?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus, get access to:
- 30,000+ literature study guides
- Critical essays on more than 30,000 works of literature from Salem on Literature (exclusive to eNotes)
- An unparalleled literary criticism section. 40,000 full-length or excerpted essays.
- Content from leading academic publishers, all easily citable with our "Cite this page" button.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee READ MORE