A Walk in the Night

by Alex La Guma

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Discuss the appropriateness of the title "A Walk in the Night."

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"A Walk in the Night" is an appropriate title for this story by Alex la Guma, and for two main reasons. First, a majority of the scenes occur at night during a walk the main character, Michael Adonis, is taking through his neighborhood after losing his job. In that sense, there is a literal nighttime setting, and he is actually walking in it.

I think it more meaningful, however, to consider the idea of "night" as a metaphor for apartheid. It was a long night indeed when racism was overt and deadly for many citizens of South Africa. Michael is not only walking in the natural night, but also through his experiences of apartheid. He is living in the darkest time of South African history, struggling to find his place in a murky and unjust system, dark as a starless night sky.

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