The Grass is Singing

The Grass is Singing

The Grass Is Singing is a book that highlights the predicaments of the inhabitants of South Africa during the apartheid era. Mary Turner is the protagonist in the story whose religious, social, and cultural values aid in the development of various themes. She represents a large percentage of the whites living in South Africa during this period (Lessing, 2013). In relation to the antagonistic association between the members of the two principal racial categories, she strongly believes that blacks are inferior human beings and ought to follow the values and rules stipulated by their white counterparts. Her cruel nature is evident when she whips Moses, a black servant in their farm. She justifies her actions by asserting that the laborer responded to her in English and claimed to stop working in order to quench his thirst (Lessing, 2013). Mary equates this to disrespect, an aspect that aggravates her hatred for the natives of this region.

The author of this book uses Mary Turner to develop the theme of social class. For example, the rivalry between blacks and whites proves the existence of different social classes in this African region. According to the social values promoted by such racists as Mary Turner, blacks should work for the superior class of whites with minimal pay (Lessing, 2013). Through this social setting, the author of this book highlights the power exhibited by members of the higher social strata, and the subsequent oppression faced by those in the lower class. In addition, Mary represents the unexpected relationships between people from various social classes. At the beginning of the novel, the writer portrays her as an independent Rhodesian female with a stable profession. However, she marries Dick who is a farm proprietor struggling to acquire a decent living. This is apparent from the deplorable state of their house in the South Africa (Lessing, 2013).



Lessing, D. M. (2013). The grass is singing. London: Fourth Estate.

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