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The Challenges of Life

            "Crackling Day" by Peter Abrahams and "The Old Chief Mshlanga" by Doris Lessing are both stories that deal with the discrimination of the black race in South Africa. These stories present a viewpoint of life during the apartheid period in which the black race was treated as inferior because of the color of their skin. In "Crackling Day," a young black boy in South Africa challenges three white youths and, in so doing, challenges the political system of the whole country. In "The Old Chief Mshlanga," a girl name Nkosikaas Jordan learns to see things through the eyes of the native inhabitants of South Africa and, in doing so, bring about a change in her character. In these stories the main characters confront internal and external conflicts about racism, human rights, and hopelessness.
             In both stories, the characters deal with an issue of racism in which one character faces it and the other causes it. In "Crackling Day," the narrator, a young black boy, is faced with hatred violence because of his ethic background. When the narrator went to the store to buy crackling for his mother, the storeowner made him beg and say, "Baas" because he was black. The narrator deals with both internal and external conflicts because he experiences the hatred of the outside world and the inside struggles of being black in a white man's world. In "The Old Chief Mshlanga," Nkosikaas Jordan is a spoiled white girl who spends her time being cruel and allowing her dogs to terrorize the native. Nkosikaas is blind to the things around her and this causes her to act in a dreadful manner. She later on discovers some truth about the land and it's people when she meets Chief Mshlanga. This experience causes her internal conflicts in which she struggles to change and understand those around her from their point of view. In both stories, the characters are faced with different racial situations, but they both deal with an internal conflict, which they are forced to view the other person viewpoint.

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