“The Lemon Orchard”

Essay N. 2

How do you admire the teacher? Why is he not well
regarded? Through the use of dramatic irony La Guma
shows how white people are really not worth respect. Do
you agree?

In “The Lemon Orchard” by Alex La Guma the author
depicts the cruelty with which “justice” is done. His story
notices that the treatment shown is universal in literature as in
the world.
The most representative issue that is treated in the story
is the dominations of white people towards black men; “A
teacher in a school for which we pay, he lives off our sweat, and
he had the audacity of being cheeky towards a minister of our
church.” This shows his not only a “slim hotnot” but a teacher,
who teaches in a white school, influencing the society and most
important, the future of it, the children.
Another good description of reality is shown by La Guma,
through nature “he is a good watchdog. I offered Mr. Marais
five pounds for that dog, but he won’t sell.” This sentence is
both, to keep demostrating the abuse- saying he would take
better care of a dog than of a human- and a technique used to
break the atmosphere that was building up in the story and
create suspense.
Eventually the man is finally killed, so brutally the author
chose not to describe it, but to use a metaphor with a lemon of
how it was squashed and its smell became suffocating; that is
similar to what happened to the apartheid, the people pushed so
hard against it, it eventually had to be disbanded.
La Guma, by the use of metaphors, images and the main
idea of racism built up a solid story which speaks of cruelty, of
discrimination, condoning racism, having many points in common
with his own life.

Juan Pedro Alonso 3º