Spoken in the perspective and observations of the protagonist, "Amnesty," written by Nadine Gordimer, shows the crippling effects of a city movement upon the relationship of a poor couple. As a housewife, the narrator dedicates her time towards her family and husband, who she fell in love with for his affection. However, as her husband spends more time in the city, he quickly becomes attached and invested in the city movement than his wife and family. By choosing to commit to the movement, the husband's decision puts a strain on his marital relationship and father-daughter relationship.
At the beginning of the narrative, Nadine Gordimer introduces the narrator in a state of excitement for the return of her husband. The narrator speaks of her husband in a loving and caring manner, showing the readers her affection towards her husband. However as the story progresses, the audience learns of her adoring patience towards her husband as he distances himself away from her for his cause. An example is the change in his behavior after his return from prison. The narrator notices they "used to whisper a long time" but they no longer have late night conversations. His behavior also affect their communication, which is the most important aspect of marriage. After his return, the narrator often sense her husband's worrying at night about "things [she doesn't] know and [she does not want to] worry him with talk." Even daily conversations with his wife no longer interests him. When the narrator tries to tell her husband of the years she spent waiting for him, he responds by "smil[ing] and nod[ing], asks a couple of questions and then stands up and stretches," which she knows, indicate "it's enough." Not only does this change affect his marital relationship, it also affects his relationship with his daughter. .
During his second year in prison, his wife becomes pregnant with a child, a girl.