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The Middle of Somewhere stresses the important facts of racism and equal rights among human beings. This interesting and compelling story is about an African family who fought the government for what they believed was right. In the times of segregation, the white people pushed around the blacks. It was the few blacks that chose to stand up for themselves and fight back for what they believed in. “The middle of somewhere”. If spoken aloud, it makes you think. This must be a place where you call home. Somewhere where you feel safe and where everything around you is comfortable.
In the novel, Rebecca and her family always talk about Pofadderkloof. Pofadderkloof is the place where the whites want to move all the black people of the village in order to replace the area with a white suburb. They tell the black people that in Pofadderkloof the houses will be larger and will have a running tap. Also, they will have two bedrooms and a stove. Rebecca’s family was the only family to know that they were telling all lies just to get them to move. When Rebecca’s best friend, Noni and her family move to Pofadderkloof, she is hurt to the point of crying everyday. When a member of Noni’s family actually notices that everything that was told to them were all lies, she goes back to the village on foot for about two days to tell everyone. She refers to Pofadderkloof as “the middle of nowhere”, because of the one-bedroom houses and miles of dry plain with no markets or available jobs. Pretty soon, the whole village comes together and forms a committee to help each other for what is right. They don’t want to go to the middle of nowhere. There want to stay home in the village, in the middle of somewhere.
In the middle of somewhere is home; that’s where everything feels right. The village was the home to many, but it was a key part in Rebecca’s family’s life. To Rebecca, home was everything to her. She loved going home after school to play hopscotch, or jumping rope in front of her house with her friends near the beautiful jacaranda tree. When she heard that bulldozers were coming to tear her house down, she was terrified. She couldn’t sleep at night. It was all she could think about.
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"Somewhere to call home." 123HelpMe.com. 11 Dec 2019
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All the lies and suffering were found in one place. Pofadderkloof. Pofadderkloof was the place that supposedly was filled with jobs and nice houses; these were all lies. There were no jobs, and houses were less than mediocre. Rebecca dreaded this place and so did her family. As soon as they figured out the truth, everyone began to hate it. The thought of the new vision of Pofadderkloof petrified Rebecca. She didn’t want to leave her home. She didn’t want someone to just push her out of her house, and a lot of the other village people thought this way as well.
The most important part of this novel was the idea of equal rights between all people, including blacks. The government thought they could just force them out of their homes whether it was threatening to bulldoze their houses down, or giving them money, or even telling them lies about a the place where they could make their new homes. A reader can clearly think about how life was for Africans at these times, the author illustrates not to take advantage of what you have and to cherish everything you receive. If anyone was told to do something you didn’t want to do, but were overpowered by as many people as they were, it was likely that you would have given up to all the pressure. It is hard to understand how someone could think the way these white people did and how they thought they were so superior to the colored.
It is obvious that the idea of racism is already talked about a lot, but there really is no end to what could be said about it. It is a brainless thing to go by. Skin color has absolutely nothing to do with they way you act, speak, or do anything. Being a person is based on the way you think and the way you think of others. It’s not at all what you look like, or what kind of occupation you have. It is all on the inside.
Another theme that was showed by this author was the idea of never to give up no matter what the odds. Rebecca and her family were not going to leave home without a fight. There were times when they were pushed to the brink of moving when their father was put to jail, but they never gave up. That is a very important lesson we all must incorporate in our lives.
Rebecca’s family was like any other family. They wanted to be treated just like any other family was treated. They helped and stood by one another. They didn’t want to go to the middle of nowhere. What they did want was to stay in the middle of somewhere.
Gordon, Sheila. The Middle of Somewhere. New York, NY
Orchard Books, 1990