What is Gordimer's political point of view?

Expert Answers
rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Nadine Gordimer did not consider herself to be a particularly political person, she found that the place she lived in required her to be so. During her lifetime the Nationalist Party in South Africa came to power and enforced the system of apartheid, a political and legal regime that stripped rights from people of color and placed whites at the top of society. Gordimer asserted that no one could live in South Africa and not be involved in politics. She opposed apartheid, which was evident from her writings, including "Once upon a Time." Some of her books were banned because they exposed the injustice of the government. Before apartheid ended in 1991, Gordimer had been a secret member of the National African Congress. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Gordimer publicly "paid her dues in person and got a party card" (New York Times). After that, she embraced other political causes, including trying to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa and writing in opposition to the South African "secrecy law." You can read an article she wrote about the Secrecy Bill below.

In 1991 when Gordimer received the Nobel Prize in Literature, the committee noted that she didn't allow her political activism to "encroach upon her writings." So although she felt thrust into the political world, Gordimer was first and foremost a writer, not a political person.

Read the study guide:
Once Upon a Time

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question