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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 414

The setting for Boesman and Lena is extremely important to the plot and its characters. South Africa in 1969 was a country torn apart by the policies of apartheid, which demanded strict segregation of races. Blacks, whites, and "coloureds" were forced to live, work, and attend school and public functions separated from one another, causing a great deal of strife among the different racial groups in South Africa, until they were integrated in the 1980s. The United States has its own history of segregation, strife, and integration. Research America's racially divided past and compare it to South Africa's. What is the timeline for each? What practices did the two countries have in common? What finally led to integration in each country? What race-related problems do the two countries face today as a result of a segregated past?

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Fugard has cited the Irish-born French playwright Samuel Beckett as a major influence on his writing. Read one of Beckett's major plays, perhaps Waiting for Godot or Endgame, and compare and contrast Beckett's style of "Absurdist" theater with Fugard's. Consider such things as setting, plot and character development, and how each author treats important themes in his work.

Because of its unique history of colonization by many different groups of European settlers, as well as several different native tribes, South Africa recognizes eleven different official national languages, including Afrikaans and Xhosa, two languages used by characters in Boesman and Lena . What are the eleven official languages of South Africa? What is the origin of each? Which ones have been especially important in the struggle over...

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