English Literature

Partition By W. H. Auden

Partition By W H Auden Analysis | Partition Poem Analysis

Partition By W. H. Auden
Partition By W. H. Auden


          The poem Partition by W. H. Auden deals with the historical event of the partition of the sub-continent into India and Pakistan. Cyril Radcliffe parted the subcontinent on the idea of outdated maps and incorrect census inside a brief interval of seven weeks. It is a political and historical poem. The poem was first published in Auden’s 1969 collection City Without walls.

About Poet

            W. H. Auden was an English poet, playwright, critic, and liberalist of the 20th century. He exerted a major influence on poetry. As a poet, Auden was much influenced by the poetry of Thomas Hardy, William Blake, and G. M. Hopkins. Most of Auden’s poems are based on love, politics, social concern, religion, and personal morals.

The Poet published over 20 collections of poetry during his lifetime and became best known for his writing style and technique in writing. Among his world-famous poems included – The Unknown Citizen, September 1: 1989, Autumn Song, Night Mail, If I Could tell You, and The Shield of Achilles. Awards and honors which Auden got as achievements in his life are – Bollinger Prize, National Book Award, and Pulitzer Prize.

Auden Criticise in the Poem

            The poem Partition is a criticism of the method of Partition and a criticism of Cyril Radcliffe. Partition was a job that was heroic and of an epic dimension but it was done away in such haste, such a short time, with such carelessness that resulted in the catastrophe, the tragedy that is called partition. This act of partition was done in such a way as to split a piece of log. Around 12 million people displace and millions were left homeless. The trains through which migration was done were so full and there was hardly space to breathe in it. Over one million were killed on both sides of the border.

            Cyril Radcliffe arrived in India on July 8, 1947. He has never seen the subcontinent before, never knew the geography, never knew the population of statistics and still, he was given the task of splitting the subcontinent into two parts – India and Pakistan. This was an epic dimension task but it was done in such haste, and carelessness that it resulted in a monumental tragedy.

Themes of The Partition

            The violence and Hubris of British colonialism, Partition are the main themes of the poem. Cyril Radcliffe’s decision resulted in mass migration and widespread violence as countless Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs were forced to seek safety in religious majorities on the other side of new boundaries. With this context, the poem highlights the devastating effects of British Colonialism.

Analysis Of The Poem

            The poem starts with the line that Radcliffe was unbiased when he arrived in India. Radcliffe was unaware of India’s cultural traditions and the communal tension prevalent in India. Radcliff is a person who had never come to India and now he is called for partition. He was a complete stranger. Auden says that partition was among people, who were fanatically different, they had a different diet and different God.

Radcliff was told in London that we have no time left for mutual reconciliation and rational debate and that this line will be not drawn. The decision had already been taken now. You are being called to fulfill the formalities. Two sides can’t come together. The solution lies in their separation only. It means that in Radcliffe’s mind, it was already settled that there is no chance left of stopping this partition.

            Auden mentions that letter which was written by Lord Mountbatten to Radcliffe, in the letter evidence can be seen that Mountbatten doesn’t want to see Radcliff. Even he had given authority to Radcliff to divide and draw the line himself. For the help, they provided accommodation to Sir Radcliffe and two Hindu judges, and two Muslim judges to seek advice were given to him. The final decision rested with Radcliffe.

            Next Auden says that Sir Radcliffe was living in a lonely mansion under police protection. Because the police were scared that orthodox people of any side can attack him or assassinate him. He got down to work and the task was of setting the destiny of millions of people living on both sides just by tracing a single line of land. People had to leave their sources of income school houses except they were out of their land and their state was in the hands of the Radcliffe line.

            Auden criticizes the way partition was done because the maps given to Sir Radcliffe were out of date and even the census was also incorrect due to this he faced many difficulties. But Auden mentions that there was no time to verify and examine maps for the census.

            Radcliffe was setting the faith of millions of people with incorrect defaulted papers.

            In the month of June and July, India’s weather is very hot so Auden talks about the climate of the Indian subcontinent. Due to the hot climate, a bout of dysentery kept him constantly in the toilet. As Redcliffe came from England it was difficult for him to adjust to India’s climate. But he has given a certain time of 5 to 7 weeks in which the frontiers were to be decided and India was to be divided for good or something bad to come. It means that Radcliffe was facing some health issues and in spite of that, he was told to finish that work. 

            In the last stanza Auden depicts that Radcliffe goes back to England and life any other lawyer he forgets the case. He quickly forgets what he has done in India and he moves on in his life. He said in a club and told his friends that he will never visit India because he is afraid that he might be shoot by anyone.


            Thus, Auden used very simple and direct language in the poem- “Partition” which is all about how unjust the partition of India was an unknown person was called an unknown land to draw a line that will decide the fate of millions of people and outdated information and pressure unrooted many people from their housed and decide their faith and death.

Varsha Singh

Partition Poem By W. H. Auden

Unbiased at least he was when he arrived on his mission,
Having never set eyes on the land he was called to partition
Between two peoples fanatically at odds,
With their different diets and incompatible gods.
“Time,” they had briefed him in London, “is short. It’s too late
For mutual reconciliation or rational debate:
The only solution now lies in separation.
The Viceroy thinks, as you will see from his letter,
That the less you are seen in his company the better,
So we’ve arranged to provide you with other accommodation.
We can give you four judges, two Moslem and two Hindu,
To consult with, but the final decision must rest with you.”

Shut up in a lonely mansion, with police night and day
Patrolling the gardens to keep the assassins away,
He got down to work, to the task of settling the fate
Of millions. The maps at his disposal were out of date
And the Census Returns almost certainly incorrect,
But there was no time to check them, no time to inspect
Contested areas. The weather was frightfully hot,
And a bout of dysentery kept him constantly on the trot,
But in seven weeks it was done, the frontiers decided,
A continent for better or worse divided.

The next day he sailed for England, where he could quickly forget
The case, as a good lawyer must. Return he would not,
Afraid, as he told his Club, that he might get shot.

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Suicide In The Trenches By Seigfried Sassoon

Suicide In The Trenches By Siegfried Sassoon | Suicide In The Trenches Analysis

Suicide In The Trenches By Seigfried Sassoon
Suicide In The Trenches By Seigfried Sassoon

Suicide In The Trenches Poem

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.


          Suicide in the Trenches is a poem, composed by Siegfried Sassoon, the great war poet during the first world war (1914-1918). Like most of Sassoon’s poetry, Suicide in The Trenches is inspired by the poet’s personal experiences as a soldier. It was first published in 1918, a collection of poems called ‘Counter-Attack and Other Poems’. The poem is an illustration of the futility of war and the folly of the persons who are engaged in war. After being wounded in action, Sassoon wrote a letter of protest to the war department refusing to fight anymore.

“I believe that this War is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it.”

About Siegfried Sassoon

            Siegfried Sassoon is remembered for his angry and compassionate poems about World War I. He was an English war poet, writer, and soldier. Sasson’s poetry often criticized and expressed anger towards those whom he believed caused the war. He was the friend of Robert Graves and Wilfred Owen. Siegfried Sassoon also was the mentor of Owen. Among his world-famous war poems included – The Troops, Trench Duty, Break of Day, Before the Battle, I Stood with The Dead, Attack, Counter Attack, The Effect, The Death Bed, The Hero, The Last Meeting, and Banishment.

Form and Structure Of the Poem

            Suicide in The Trenches is written in three quatrains, which means the poem has a total of 12 lines. It is written in iambic tetrameter. The rhyme scheme of each quatrain is – AABB.

Themes Of The Poem

            War is the theme of Suicide in The Trenches. The poet focuses on how the horrors of war impact young soldiers, like the man who chooses to kill himself rather than spend more time in the trenches of World War I. He also focuses on how soldiers are celebrated and quickly forgotten by the public.

About The Title

            The title suggests the suicide of someone in a trench because he seeks solace and is desperate and unhappy with the existing condition of life. The poet stresses the fact that the government should at least improve the conditions of the soldier; the people who are most dedicated to serving society and the nation as a whole.

Suicide In The Trenches Poem Analysis

            Suicide in The Trenches begins with the excitement of a young boy who seeks adventure to overcome his meaningless life. The first stanza is about the innocent guy who became a soldier. He led a happy youthful life. He used to enjoy the dark night with a peaceful sleep and would rise with great happiness whistling along with larks. The peaceful life of an innocent boy represents the peace and happiness of every individual. They are free from the sound of bombs, gunfire, or shells. They enjoy the sweet sound of nature. Their day begins with the sound of birds. Such innocent boys are persuaded to join the army to serve their country.

            In the second stanza, the readers could sense the seriousness of the soldier’s thoughts. The soldier is depressed by the explosions of the shells, lack of rum, and insect bites. He is driven to the extreme and shoots himself in the head. After his demise, no one spoke of him again. Soon he is forgotten by Society.

            In the third stanza, the poet describes the nature of the community and their approach toward the soldiers, The Smug-faced crowds clap and applaud the soldiers with fiery eyes marching through the streets. But the soldiers pass they hurry back home and pray to God he will never go through the war (hell) which could destroy the youth and laughter of the innocents.

            Sassoon wants the readers to understand the fact that how important soldiers are for any country. He also explains the selflessness and the love for the country of a Soldier.

            A Soldier is also a normal individual who could have selected any other occupation instead of fighting for his country but he does so just because he loves his motherland more than himself and his family and is selflessly keeping the people of a nation from any external danger. The government should provide the best living conditions possible for the army. He feels that love and harmony should prevail in all nations. Just because of the hatred of a few people, the innocent families of the soldiers suffer.

            The poet is using literature to portray his hatred for war and like conditions. He is very angry with the fact that soldiers are not given what is minimum required, proper living conditions.

            Sassoon also points out the sharp difference between apparent patriotism and people’s hypocrisy. People sing patriotic songs and express their patriotic feeling, but when it comes to serving the nation they take a step backward.


          Thus, Suicide in the Trenches” is actually criticizing the loneliness, health conditions, patriotism, and also the lack of resources that the soldiers faced while they are in the trenches. The poem actually describes the grief of each and every soldier who fights for the country. Though the soldiers carry a deep feeling of patriotism for their country still they are not provided with optimum facilities during the war by the country.

            Now we can say that Suicide in The Trenches is one of the best patriotic poems written by for which can still the significance of patriotism among the readers.

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Varsha Singh

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The Sellout By Paul Beatty

The Sellout By Paul Beatty | The Sellout Summary

The Sellout By Paul Beatty
The Sellout By Paul Beatty

The Novel “The Sellout”


            The Sellout is an African-American novel written by Paul Beatty. It is a satire on racism in the United State. It explores modern issues of race and racism through a shocking and often comical premise. The novel takes place in and around Los Angeles, California. The Sellout is Paul Beatty’s fourth novel as well as the most well-received. It was first published in 2015 and in 2016, it won the Booker Prize making Beatty the first US writer to win that award. The novel was released during a time of racial reckoning surrounding multiple instances of police brutality and the Ferguson Missouri protests.

            Beatty stated his motivation for writing the novel was that “He was Broke”. He utilizes stereotypes and parody throughout the story to inject Social commentary.

Character Sketch

The Narrator

            Referred to only as a narrator or sometimes, “Me”. The narrator is a normal person at first, living in the town of Dickens outside of Los Angeles.

Marpessa Dawson

            Marpessa is the childhood sweetheart of the narrator. Three years older than the narrator.

Hominy Jenkins

            An elderly man, Hominy used to be an African American cast member for the old TV show, The Little Rascals. He is grown up in a racist environment. Hominy tries to hand himself in, but the narrator saves him from death.

Foy Cheshire

             A wise man, For dislikes the narrator. Foy doesn’t like the idea of discrimination against people because of their race. He is one of the most reasonable people in the novel.

            The Black Justice, Laurel (The Narrator’s Mother), Lescook, Hampton Fiske (The Narrator’s Lawyer), Charisma Molina, and many more (Marpessa’s best friend and assistant principal of Chaff Middle School).

About Paul Beatty

            Paul Beatty is an African-American writer who won the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sellout. He is considered the first American writer that won such a prize Beatty prefers to be called a Black than to be called an African-American writer. He was born in West Los Angeles, where he faced many troubles and hardships in his neighborhood as Whites were nearly, about 80% of its population.

The Sellout is both his last book and his fourth novel. His previous three novels are – The White Boy Shuffle (1996), Tuff (2000), and Slumberland (2008). In addition, he has authored two books of poetry – Big Bank Take Little Bank and Jaker, Joker, and Deuce.

The Themes Of The Sellout

  • Identity
  • Law and Race
  • Degradation Of Progress
  • Stereotypes and Absurdity
  • Gender, Sex, and Hypersexualization.

About Title

            The title of the novel The Sellout refers to Black people. It is a disparaging term that knowingly or with gross negligence action against the interest of Blacks as a whole.

Analysis of “The Sellout”

            The novel starts with a prologue in which the narrator claims he has never stolen anything, which he believes might surprise the readers because he is a black man. Nonetheless, he now finds himself handcuffed inside the supreme court of the United States.

“This may be hard to believe, coming from a
 black man, but I’ve never stolen anything.
 Never cheated on my taxes or at cords.”

            He spent the previous day walking around Washington DC. Now, sitting in the supreme court. Then he mentions that his case is Me Vs The United States of America because his last name is me. He has been charged with holding slaves and attempting to bring back racial segregation. He tells the story of how he ended up here. He lives in Dickens, California. His father was a social scientist and the founder of something he called Liberation Psychology.

The Narrator’s father was known as The Nigger Whisperer because of his habit of spending time on the streets. His father home-schooled the narrator, believing the whole world is racist. However, despite this upbringing, the narrator does not believe racism is much of a problem in the modern world. He does remember one incident where he believed he was charged a different price for a Soda simply because of his skin color.

            The narrator’s father is shot and killed by a police officer as he confronts them shouting during an arrest. The narrator is granted a $2 million settlement after the wrongful death of his father at the hand of the police. As a result, the narrator inherits the house and land that his father owned. The narrator takes over his father’s role as Nigger Whisperer. He is not excited about doing this but does it anyway.

            One day, the narrator discovers that Dickens has been removed from maps as part of an effort to raise property values in surrounding areas. He campaigns to get his town put back on the map. Attending a meeting of his father’s old friends to announce his plan and gains their support. He gets into an argument with their leader, Foy Chesire. Foy angrily calls him a Sellout.

            The narrator is also having an affair with a woman named Marpessa Dawson, who he has known since childhood. He also encounters one of his neighbours elderly named Hominy Jenkins. She is also upset about Dickens being removed from the maps. Hominy tries to hand himself, but the narrator saves her. Hominy wishes to become the narrator’s slave at first, the narrator laughs at this and tries to ignore it, but Hominy is surprisingly determined. Finally, the narrator agrees to take Hominy as a slave. The narrator decides to paint boundary lines around Dickens and as soon as his neighbors realize what he is doing, they all start to help.

            To celebrate Hominy’s birthday the narrator arranges to hold a party for him on Marpessa’s bus. Marpessa tells the narrator she dumped him because he is a “Sellout”. Later, they talk about why they first fell in love Two of them begin going on dates again. The narrator goes to chaff Middle School to teach students about agriculture giving them a lesson on castration. He suggests to his friend Charisma, who is a teacher there, that the school be racially segregated. The result was to orientate block kids to learning and getting ahead.

            Foy arrives at the middle school to protest Charisma’s refusal to let white students inside. The narrator arrives and confronts Foy. Foy shoots him. The subsequent investigation exposes the narrator’s plans to segregate the city and school as well as his holding Homing as a Slave and he is arrested.

            Back to the present, in the court, Foy is found innocent of attempted murder, but the narrator wins his civil suits against him. Hominy kisses the narrator and tells him that he’s quitting slavery. He continues his relationship with Marpessa. Marpessa and the narrator watch TV and during the weather report, Dickens is included along with the other cities in the area. The narrator is so happy.


Thus, the novel “The Sellout” presents the idea of the slavery system and racism. It focuses on how African-American people still suffer from an inferiority complex in society. Through which the role of the narrator he shows us, how black are treated even in the Richest Country USA. Paul Beauty argues that America is a white people’s land so that all white people have a comfortable life but not Black people.

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Varsha Singh

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Indo-European Family of Languages

Indo-European Languages | Indo-European Family of Languages

Indo-European Family of Languages
Indo-European Family of Languages


            Most languages of the world can be combined into one of many language families. Language families are groups of languages that all descend from a common ancestor. Indo-European languages are the most prominent language family on earth and it is widely used in many parts of Europe, the Americans, and in Southern and Western Asia. It comprises 446 living languages, representing 6.2% of all languages in the world. Some three billion or 46.32% speak the languages belonging to the Indo-European language. English is one of the Indo-European languages but they include diverse languages, such as – Russian, French, Greek, Hindi, and Persian.

Origins and Early History of Indo-European Languages

          Beginning at some period several thousand years B. C. the Indo-European started at a point in southern Europe near the Asia border. It then spread itself both East and West. While spreading, it mixed with many non-European tongues and was modified by them variously at different stages resulting in different subgroups or branches of language and different dialects. However, there still remains in all members of the family, a body of simple, everyday words easily recognized as connected with some variations.

For Example:

8.Old IrishMathirAthirTri

                  There are 10 main branches of the Indo-European language family, including – Anatolian, Albanian, Armenian, Balto-Salvic, Celtic, Greek, Germanic, Indo-Iranian, Italic, and Tocharian. Each one covers different areas in the world. Today, the largest among the Indo-European language family branch is Indo-Iranian. Some of the language branches are also composed of a few sub-branches, which are detailed below.

  1. Anatolian – The Anatolian branch was dominant in Turkey’s Asian portion are some parts of northern Syria. Among the languages belonging to this branch, the most famous was Hittite. Examples of the language families that were found were Lydian, Lycian, Palaic, and Luviar.
  2. Indo-Iranian – There are two sub-branches of the Indo-Iranian branch – Iranian and Indic. The languages belonging to this branch are commonly used in Iran, Pakistan, and India and areas close to these countries.

      Sanskrit belongs to the Indic sub-branch. It is one of the oldest languages. One language that is part of the Iranian sub-branch is Avestan. It is considered as Sanskrit’s sister.

            Today, many of the languages in the Indic sub-branch is spoken in Pakistan and India, like Bengali, Punjabi, and Hindi-Urdu. In Tajikistan Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, Kurdish, Pashto, and Farsi, or modern Persian are commonly spoken.

  • Greek – Greek is a collection of different dialects. It has over 3000 years of written history. It is dominant in the Aegean Sea and surrounding areas, the Peloponnese Peninsula, and the Balkan’s Southern end.
  • Italic – Dominant in the Italian Peninsula was italic, although the italic people were not from Italy. The surviving languages, belonging to this branch are the Romance languages: Italian, French, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, and Spanish.
  • Celtic – The Celtic branch has insular Celtic and Continental Celtic as sub-branches. Several Celtic-speaking tribes spread across areas that comprise what we know today as the western Czech Republic, Austria, and Southern Germany in 600 BCE.
  • Germanic – The Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family has three sub-branches – West Germanic and North Germanic The third one is East Germanic which is now extinct. The Germanic-speaking people inhabited the areas along southern Scandinavia to the North Baltic sea coast.
  • Armenian – Armenian-speaking people originating has not been established yet. The Persian language in turn has a powerful impact on the Armenian language.
  • Tocharian – The Tocharian-speaking people resided in western China’s Taklamakan Desert, but their history is unknown. This branch of the Indo-European language family no longer exists.
  • Balto-Slavic – The Balto-Slavic branch has Baltic and Slavic for tis sub-branches.
  • Albanian – Among the branches of the Indo-European language family has a written form is Albanian. Modern Albanian is the official language of Albania in other parts of former Yugoslavia and in small amounts of the Republic of Morocco, Greece, and Southern Italy.

Characteristics of Indo-European Language

            Two special characteristics indicate the Indo-Europeanness of a language – Structure and Vocabulary.

            As regards Structure, the Indo-European languages use forms that have been invented and described by the ancient Greeks as Parts of Speech.

            Secondly, Indo-European languages have many identical fundamental words which form their common basis of vocabulary. For instance, most of the names of family relationships domestic materials, or familiar animals.


            The Indo-European family is the largest among the language families existing today. It includes some of the most important languages in the world, such as the Romance languages as well as English, German, and Russian, and several languages are spoken in India and surrounding areas. Their development is fascinating and their relationship becomes apparent upon closer inspection.

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The Blood Knot By Athol Fugard

The Blood Knot By Athol Fugard | Blood Knot Summary

The Blood Knot By Athol Fugard
The Blood Knot By Athol Fugard


            The play The Blood Knot is written by Athol Fugard during South Africa’s Apartheid era of institutionalized racism and segregation. Apartheid was a system for keeping white and non-white people separated that was used in South Africa from 1948 to 1994, it was also known as racial segregation. It is written by the greatest South African playwright Athol Fugard. It is the story of two half-brothers who shares the same mother but a different father. It was written in the early 1960s and first performed in 1961 but after the first performance South African authors banned it. Through this play, Fugard showed his hatred and dissatisfaction with the world in which whites were segregated from non-whites.

About Athol Fugard

          Arnold Fugard Lannigan Fugard commonly known as Athol Fugard is a South African Playwright, novelist, actor, and director widely regarded as South Africa’s greatest playwright. He has written more than 30 plays. He gained international attention from a play called The Blood Knot. He often writes on the subject of South African apartheid. His plays include – The Cell Hello and Goodbye, Valley Song, Victory, My Children My Africa, The Shadow and Hummingbird, The Road to Mecca, and others. His plays have garnered the Tony Award, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Drama Dok Award, and many more. Even Today he pens insightful plays addressing modern inequality.

Multi racially in Blood Knot

            The play is against the system of apartheid and racial segregation in South Africa. Even after independence in 1948, the all-white government continued to enforce the system of segregation called apartheid. The majority of South African, who were nonwhites were forced to live in areas separate from the white and use separate public facilities. Pass Laws required non-whites to carry documents authorizing their presence in restricted areas 80% Country’s Land for the white minority.

            Additionally, the Population Registration Act of 1950 classified all south African by race as

  • Bantu (Black Africans)
  • Colored (Mixed race)
  • White
  • Asian (India & Pakistan)

In some cases, the legislation split families with parents classified as white and their children classified as colored. Or as we find in the play, the two brothers fall into different categories despite their blood knot, it speaks of a tangled relationship and the traumas of the two brothers.

In South Africa in 1960, police opened fire on a group of black protestors, killing sixty-nine of them. This event marks the beginning of the ongoing struggle of South African blacks for equality. In the wave of violence between police and black protestors, more than two thousand people have been killed.

Living in such conditions Athol  Fugard certainly has been touched by the racial issues which are at the root of this death. The Blood Knot shows his concern towards the system of racial segregation.

About the title

    So the title of The Blood Knot is apt and absolutely appropriate. Both the brother have different skin tones one is white and another is dark tone. Both have different rights given by the African Government according to racism segregation. The fact that blood is thicker than water is exemplified in their manifestation of love and concern for each other.

Themes of The Blood Knot


Athol Fugard wrote this play as a protest against the injustice of racism. Both the main character of the play Zachariah and Morris are saddened by the insults, injury, and inhumanity they have to face in their lives.


Morris being a black man in white skin speaks of a doubleness of racial identity. Morris can actually pass off as a white man. Morris apparently left Zachariah to find a better life for himself as a white-skinned person. But he was torn between his skin color and his blood ties. So there is a tension of his double consciousness in Morris as the black man with light skin.


The playwright highlights the pitiable conditions of the blacks by portraying their surroundings and their home. As a laborer, Zachariah lives in one room in a town outside Port Elizabeth. Morris hopes to extricate themselves from this grinding poverty and slavery and dreams of having a farm on their own. Unfortunately at the end of the play having spent all their savings on clothes and other things they are left in a worse condition of having nothing but each other.


 From the beginning of the play, we find. Morris to be bound to his brother. Zachariah the fact that blood is thicker than water is exemplified in their manifestation of love, care, and concern for each other.

Blood Knot Play Analysis

            The play has only two characters – half-brothers Morris and Zachariah share the same mother, who is black. However, because Morris’s father is white, his skin is far lighter than his brothers allowing him to pass for a white man. During the Apartheid era an authoritarian leadership rooted in white supremacy governed South Africa. Consequently, the white minority in power dominate the nation’s black majority politically, and economically non-white ethnic groups were segregated into poorer neighborhoods and designed franchised politically.

            Having lived for a few years as a white man, Morris returns to the “colored” section of the part of Elizabeth to live with Zachariah. Together, they inhabit a small run-down shack that Morris maintains while Zachariah works as a gatekeeper at a park. His job is to prevent black people from entering the park. He comes back every evening with foot sores from standing for long hours.

Morris does not want to work in the predominantly black neighborhood of part Elizabeth because, as a man who looks white, he fears he will not fit in. He is content to keep the house, cook the meals, prepare hot water for Zach, and also save money for their future- to buy a small farm for themselves and live on their own.

            Zachariah carries on a pen pal relationship with a white girl who does not know he is black. While Zachariah believes he and they can have a real in-person relationship. Morris is far more cynical about the matter. In fact, the very earliest Apartheid laws passed by South Africa were the prohibition of mixed marriage acts, the latter of which barred sexual relations of any kind between two different races. Morris is especially alarmed when he learns that the girl’s brother is a police officer.

            When the girl insists on visiting port Elizabeth and meeting Zachariah in person, Morris convinces his brother that she will be horrified when she discovers he is a black man. Zachariah allows Morris to pose as him to mitigate the risk of being arrested by the girl’s brother.

            In preparation for the rendezvous, Morris buys the type of clothes that a white man is likely to wear, spending the significant portion of the money Zachariah had earned to put to words their dream to buy a farm.

            In a new letter, the girl explains that she has changed her mind and she will not visit part Elizabeth. The two-man release from fear. In the end, Morris winds up his old alarm clock, the one used throughout the play to remind him of tests such as fixing Zachariah’s footbath, preparing supper, or going to see, Morris says: “You see, we’re tied together, Zach. It’s what they call the blood knot the bond between brothers.”


            Thus, Athol Fugard’s play The Blood Knot explores the themes of race, identity, poverty, and brotherhood through the story of two half-brothers living in South Africa during the Apartheid era. Fugard’s portrayal of the brother’s poverty and struggle for survival serves as a powerful reminder of the devastating effects of inequality and segregation. Despite their hardships, however, Morris and Zachariah’s bond as brothers remains unbreakable, highlighting the importance of familial love and support in times of hardship. 

Overall, The Blood Knot is a powerful and thought-provoking play that reminds us of the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality in South Africa and around the world.

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