When Veronica says "you can stand... on the stoep" and "loer through the window" to what exactly is she referring to in Valley Song?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

"Valley Song" by Athol Fugard is set in a remote province of South Africa and centers on an old man, Buks, and his seventeen-year-old granddaughter, Veronica. Love and hope are both central themes in this play, with Veronica's dreams being emblematic of her hope and her desire to...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

"Valley Song" by Athol Fugard is set in a remote province of South Africa and centers on an old man, Buks, and his seventeen-year-old granddaughter, Veronica. Love and hope are both central themes in this play, with Veronica's dreams being emblematic of her hope and her desire to move beyond her provincial life even though her grandfather, who loves her very much, wants to keep her shielded from life beyond the Karoo valley, a semi-desert far from Johannesburg. 

Veronica is the only family that Buks has and vice-versa, but while this makes Veronica want to chase her dream of becoming a singer even more, it makes Buks try even harder to--in his eyes, at least--shield her from the dangers of city life.

Now coming to this quotation, we need to understand both the dialect and the context in order to fully unpack it. 

"Loer" means "look" in the Afrikaans language and "stoep" means "verandah" or "patio." The context is Veronica describing her dream to Buks, her dream of leaving Pienaarsig and becoming a famous singer who appears on television. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Veronica is describing her dreams to the author in this section.  He tells her they are grand dreams, but warns her about having dreams that are impossible to achieve.

Veronica wants to leave her grandfather’s farm and be a singer.  She imagines herself on TV.  When the author shows up, she is surprised at first, but she tells him her dream, saying “one day it will happen” (p. 20).  She has faith in her dream, because like her mother she sees the farm as nowhere.

What’s the use of a little dream?  A dream must be big and special.  It much be the most special thing you can imagine for yourself in the whole world. (p. 20)

Veronica’s dream gets to the theme of the whole play, dreams and what we do to achieve them.  Veronica’s grandfather’s dream is to stay on the farm, while hers is to leave.  The author acknowledges that Veronica has a right to try to pursue her dream and he understands it, but he also tries to support Buks in his.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team