July's People, by Nadine Gordimer, is a novel that deals with incredibly delicate subjects that are made even more sensitive under the novel's historical scope.
Set during a fictional period of civil war within Apartheid South Africa, the novel is about the white South African Smales family and the way that their lives are affected as a result of social changes take place during trying times.
The reason why Gordimer chooses to separate the different social sections that are depicted in the novel is because the novel is set in a time and place when social roles are strictly differentiated for whites and blacks. Furthermore, social roles were also delineated for blacks within their own social circles. For example, July is presented to us first as merely the servant of the Smales family; a man who is subservient, obedient, and willing to fulfill his duties as...
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