Town and Country Lovers Topics for Further Study
by Nadine Gordimer

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Topics for Further Study

(Short Stories for Students)

Research laws restricting social behavior and civil rights under apartheid and compare them with similar restrictions in the United States before the civil rights movement of the 1960s. What similarities do you find? What are the important differences?

Write a different ending for one of the two parts of ‘‘Town and Country Lovers.’’ Write an ending that is plausible in the setting but as different from Gordimer’s as you wish. Imitate Gordimer’s style and make your new ending as seamless as possible.

Watch the 1992 movie The Power of One. What themes does the film have in common with ‘‘Town and Country Lovers’’? What are the major differences? What do these two works tell you about the power of personal relationships in the face of political and social barriers?

In ‘‘Town and Country Lovers,’’ both pairs of lovers suffer for their interracial love affairs. With a small group or a class, discuss differences between the consequences suffered by the town couple and those experienced by the country couple. Then discuss differences between big cities and small towns in the United States with regard to social mores and attitudes, especially with regard to the acceptability of interracial relationships.