A Chip of Glass Ruby by Nadine Gordimer

In A Chip of Glass Ruby by Nadine Gordimer we have the theme of sacrifice, prejudice, selfishness, justice, commitment and apartheid. Set in South Africa the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Gordimer may be exploring the theme of sacrifice. Mrs Bamjee throughout the story is thinking of others and taking risks in order to help others. Something that is noticeable by her acquisition of the duplicating machine. With the machine she is able to spread a message of protest to others. A protest that involves highlighting the injustices of apartheid that existed in South Africa and which was formally established in the 1950s and followed through till its cessation in 1991. Mrs Bamjee is dedicated to the anti-apartheid cause even though it does not directly affect her. Due to her ethnicity (Indian) she is not subject to the same punitive measures that affected black people in South Africa. This may be important as it suggests that though apartheid is not necessarily Mrs Bamjee’s fight she still nonetheless is prepared to sacrifice all she has, including her freedom, in order to help others.

This is in contrast to her husband Bamjee who throughout the story shows a selfish and uncaring streak when it comes to the subject of apartheid. Because apartheid does not affect him directly he has no concerns about its effects on others, unlike Mrs Bamjee. In reality both Bamjee and Mrs Bamjee are politically the opposite of each other. One (Mrs Bamjee) can see that there is a great injustice being done and is looking for equality for all South Africans while throughout the story Bamjee thinks of no one but himself. Even suggesting that Mrs Bamjee’s arrest is her own fault. At no stage does he show his wife any support. As far as Bamjee is concerned Mrs Bamjee has a role to play and that role involves her life being centred on Bamjee and the family. While Mrs Bamjee is a struggling political activist Bamjee on the other hand has no time for anybody but himself.

The role that Mrs Bamjee’s children play may also be important as unlike Bamjee they are supportive and understanding of their mother. While she is in prison Jimmy and Girlie visit her to offer her their support. They can both see that Mrs Bamjee is seeking justice for black people in South Africa. For black people to be treated as equal to whites. Mrs Bamjee does not discriminate when it comes to the colour of a person’s skin something that cannot be said for Bamjee. There is a sense that he supports apartheid and considers himself to be better than black people. He does not wish to be involved in any way political or otherwise with the struggles the anti-apartheid movement faced at the time. Again his position in life is solely based on what others can do for him particularly what Mrs Bamjee can do for him.

How unselfish Mrs Bamjee actually is; is also noticeable near the end of the story when she reminds Girlie that it is Bamjee’s birthday. Though she is on hunger strike in protest of what is happening to black people in South Africa she is still balanced enough in life to remember that it is Bamjee’s birthday. Though some critics may suggest that Mrs Bamjee should forget about Bamjee, particularly due to the lack of support he gives her, it is possible that Gordimer is focusing on Mrs Bamjee’s ability to remember others. To not put the spotlight on her own life as Bamjee does. There is also a sense that Bamjee is disgruntled while he is eating his breakfast. Possibly because he has had to prepare it for himself.  The setting of the story may also be important as all the action takes place in Bamjee’s home. It is possible that by doing so Gordimer is attempting to highlight that South Africa was the only country in the world in whereby apartheid existed. It was confined to the one place. The title of the story may also have some symbolic significance with Gordimer suggesting that Mrs Bamjee is a shining light (chip of glass ruby shining) in a dark place (apartheid). It is also possible that Gordimer is using the colour of a ruby (usually red) to suggest symbolically the idea that Mrs Bamjee is prepared to give her life (or blood) in her fight against apartheid.

The end of the story is also interesting as Bamjee despite his misgivings about Mrs Bamjee’s actions realises that he loves her because she is different to others. She is not like other Indian women. She is prepared to sacrifice her life not only for the anti-apartheid movement but Bamjee knows that she is also prepared to sacrifice her life for him and the family too. She is unwavering in her dedication to both her family and the anti-apartheid movement. Standing up for others who are unable to stand up for themselves. All in order to seek equality for every man, woman and child in South Africa. While Bamjee may not be able to connect with the anti-apartheid movement there is a sense at the end of the story that he does understand Mrs Bamjee’s commitment and it is this commitment that he has fallen in love with. He may not like the direction Mrs Bamjee is going (hunger strike) but he understands she is a forthright and strong woman who believes in equality for all.  Even if it means that she must sacrifice her life to achieve her goal.

Cite Post
McManus, Dermot. "A Chip of Glass Ruby by Nadine Gordimer." The Sitting Bee. The Sitting Bee, 4 Apr. 2017. Web.

325 comments

  • Is Mr Bamjee fit to be a South African citizen? Explain to me in details.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thank you for the comment Isaka. At the time the story is set Mrs Bamjee would not have been seen to have been fit to be a South African citizen by the South African government due to her stance against apartheid.

  • What is meant by “hunger strike”?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Siboniso. A hunger strike is when a person, usually a prisoner or protester, starves themselves of food in order to make a point or to protest about an issue.

  • What I do not understand is whether Mrs Bamjee is in prison or at home?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Musa. At the beginning of the story Mrs Bamjee is at home but the police come to her home and she ends up in prison because she is using a printing press to print leaflets promoting an anti-apartheid message.

  • What exactly is the main theme of this story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Lusani. The main theme would be the sacrifices made by some during the apartheid era.

  • Mr Bamjee is not a fit man to be South African his selfishness and hatred of wanting spotlight inside of his pocket cannot build the country.

  • Explain the. Following statement is true. The clock from Mrs Bamber saw it. Was three o’clock, was a durable one

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Mapula. It is possible that Gordimer is suggesting that Mrs Bamjee is as true and as durable (or resilient) as the clock.

  • At the beginning the are nine Bamjee children, at the end we find that Bamjee has only his son Jimmy and only his daughter Girlie. How many Bamjee children are there?

  • Why did Mrs Bamjee decide to involve her self?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Mzamo. Gordimer doesn’t clearly state as to why Mrs Bamjee got involved with the anti-apartheid movement so it is left to each individual reader to decide as to why she acts as she does. It is possible that Mrs Bamjee believes in equality and justice for all regardless of the colour of an individual’s skin. That may be her motivation.

  • Thank you! We have this short story as a prescribed story at our school, but we haven’t received any information about it. Without this… I would probably fail the test!

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Shiné. I’m glad that you found the post of some benefit to you. Good luck with your test.

  • Why were they duplicating the leaflets?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Sbosh. By duplicating the leaflets there was more leaflets to distribute. Which meant that Mrs Bamjee could hand out more leaflets to more people. Ensuring more people would read about her cause (anti-apartheid).

    • As if she was pounding chillies …what does this mean?

      • Dermot (Post Author)

        Thanks for the comment Lerato. Gordimer may be suggesting that Mrs Bamjee is dedicated and focused on what she is doing.

  • Do you think Mrs Bamjee has only political relationship with the mans?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mrs Bamjee is married to Mr Bamjee and has nine children with him. Her relationship with the anti-apartheid movement appears to be strictly political with no hint that she may be involved romantically with anybody else.

      • But didn’t bamjee say that she acted really respectfully as any moslem and would never sit on a dinner table with any of them. She just made it to rebel against apartheid and injustice!?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Mrs Bamjee’s stance seems to be based on her disapproval of the apartheid regime (as you suggest). I interpreted the original question as being whether Mrs Bamjee had a romantic relationship with other men.

  • Who was in Mr Bamjee’s house and how did he feel about that?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee lives with Mrs Bamjee and their children. Mr Bamjee was not happy that Mrs Bamjee was part of the anti-apartheid movement. However at the end of the story he has a change of mind and reflects on way he loves Mrs Bamjee.

  • What does the group areas act mean?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      You’ll find a good answer to your question here. The first couple of sentences will give you a good idea as to what the Group Areas Act was.

  • Why did Mrs Bamjee get involved in the ant-apartheid movement?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Pitsi. It is possible that Mrs Bamjee believes in justice and equality for all regardless of the colour of an individual’s skin. She may feel as though what is happening in South Africa (at the time) is not right and wants to lend a hand, the best she can, to improve the circumstances of others.

  • How did Jimmy support his mother when she was in jail

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Lutendo. Jimmy supports his mother by visiting her in prison. He also gives his mother his green jersey. So that she can wear it in prison.

  • Mr Bamjee ‘felt the night all around him’ explain the symbolism

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Trevor. I think this line represents the loneliness that Mr Bamjee feels after Mrs Bamjee has been sent to prison. His world is in darkness and he may regret the fact that he has not supported Mrs Bamjee and the anti apartheid cause.

  • Still confused about the nine children. What can I know about them cause the narrator only speaks about Jimmy and Girlie,. Who are the other 7, are they a biological part of the family?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Carnition. Mr Bamjee had four children prior to marrying Mrs Bamjee (nee Pahad) and Mrs Bamjee brought five children into the marriage to Mr Bamjee. I’m not sure as to why the narrator doesn’t mention all children, perhaps they are still young and unaware of the circumstances that Mrs Bamjee finds herself in.

  • What’s Girlie’s real name?

  • What is the duplicating machine for….and what was the reason for the arrest of Mrs Bamjee

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Zama. The duplicating machine duplicated (or printed) anti-apartheid leaflets. Mrs Bamjee went to prison for not only printing the leaflets but for distributing them too.

  • What is the setting of the story, is it just South Africa?

  • Very excellent summary, well done!

  • Was Mr Bamjee happy about Mrs Bamjee being arrested?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Kay. Mr Bamjee was resentful of the fact that Mrs Bamjee was arrested. He was also embarrassed because people (school teacher) talked about the fact that Mrs Bamjee had been arrested.

  • Does his mood (Mr Bamjee) stay the same after Zanip’s arrest?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee’s mood changes. Something that is noticeable when Mr Bamjee discovers that Zanip is on hunger strike. In support of her he pushes his own plate away when he is eating at home. Mr Bamjee moves from being resentful towards Zanip to being supportive of her actions as the story progresses.

  • Since they lived in a house with no room for privacy how do the children react towards their argument about anti-arpatheid?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Both Jimmy and Girlie are supportive of their mother and there is no mention of the other children who may be too young to understand what is happening.

  • Does Mrs Bamjee’s arrest affect Mr Bamjee’s work?

  • Thanks a lot Dermot.

  • What is a purpose of hidden in a washbasket and conveyed in a black man’s taxi?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Moeketsi. That’s how the duplicator was transported to Mrs Bamjee’s home. It had to be hidden as it was most likely illegal to have one at the time.

  • Does the story end on the climax? If not, what is the falling action and resolution?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Buhle. The story doesn’t end on the climax which would be when Mrs Bamjee is arrested. As for the falling action that would occur when Mrs Bamjee decides to go on hunger strike. The stories resolution is when Mr Bamjee realises why he married Mrs Bamjee (because of her commitment).

  • What is the meaning of ‘chip of glass ruby.’ Thank you in advance.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment William. If you mean literally than a chip of glass ruby would be a small piece of ruby that has been taken from a bigger ruby. If you mean as in what is the meaning of the title of the story then symbolically Gordimer could be suggesting that Mrs Bamjee is a little shining light in a dark place (apartheid). Also if you mean as in what is the story about then it would be about the struggle some people like Mrs Bamjee went through to help others (black people) during the apartheid era.

      • What activities occupy Mrs. Bamjee time and energy?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Thanks for the comment Chelssy. Mrs Bamjee spends her time looking after her family and printing and handing out leaflets against apartheid.

      • That’s very true Dermot. Also to add on what you have said, “When she was a girl, in the Transvaal tow where they lived still, her mother fixed a Chip of glass ruby in her nostril; but she had abandoned that adornment as too old-style, even for her, long ago.”

        In the Indian tradition and culture nose rings are considered as one of the signs of marriage, and is an integral part of traditional bridal jewellery. In the Muslim culture, a nose ring is very auspicious and is a mandatory marriage ornament to be worn by all Muslim bides.

        Having said this, The Chip of glass is discarded because it is outdated just like South Africa’s apartheid government. Mrs Bamjee discards the apartheid system.

  • Mrs Bamjee worked the duplicator as if she might have been pounding chillies. What does the simile tells about the 2 aspects of Mrs Bamjee’s life?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment M. I would suggest that the two aspects of Mrs Bamjee’s life that Gordimer is referring to is the fact that Mrs Bamjee is hard working and focused.

  • What do we learn about Mrs Bamjee’s ability to deal with people in the words
    “He found her now back in the kitchen setting… different wave lengths with the children”

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mrs Bamjee may be able to adapt to different circumstances. When she is with the children she acts as a mother and when she is doing anti-apartheid work she acts as an activist.

  • What evidence is there that Mr Bamjee can be self-centered?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      When Mrs Bamjee is in prison Mr Bamjee gives out about the fact that he has to work and then go home and look after the children. His number one concern appears to be himself and not Mrs Bamjee’s circumstances.

  • Do children sympathize more with Bamjee/Mrs Bamjee? Give 3 reasons pls.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I think that the children are equally supportive of both Mr and Mrs Bamjee. They are not critical of Mr Bamjee when they could be and they remain committed to Mrs Bamjee and believe in her actions.

      • Do you agree that the children sympathised more with Bamjee when Mrs Bamjee got arrested?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          I think they were more supportive of Mrs Bamjee after she got arrested and definitely more supportive when she went on hunger strike. They focused more on Mrs Bamjee than they did on Mr Bamjee.

      • If you had to choose between Bamjee and Mrs Bamjee who would it be?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          I’d go with Mrs Bamjee as she has principles. She is hard working and is focused as a person. She believes in something and is willing to go to jail over her beliefs.

  • What does Mr Bamjee learn in closing paragraphs of story

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee realises how dedicated Mrs Bamjee is and how he may not have given her the full support that she needed. He also realises how lucky he is to have Mrs Bamjee as a wife.

  • What does the duplication machine symbolise?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Ntshuxi. Most likely the duplication machine symbolises the spread of anti-apartheid feelings in South Africa. Each leaflet given to people might sway or change their opinion on apartheid.

  • What traits does Gordimer give Mrs . Bamjee to make her a sympathetic character?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Pinky. Mrs Bamjee would be a patient and resilient character. Not only is she dedicated to her family but she is also dedicated to the anti-apartheid movement. Nothing seems to faze her and she remains driven by her beliefs.

  • What conclusion would you draw about the relationship between Mrs Bamjee and Bamjee?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Though Mr Bamjee does not approve of Mrs Bamjee’s activities he begins to understand how important the ant-apartheid movement is to her when she goes on hunger strike. He also knows that she is a good mother and that he himself may not have been there when Mrs Bamjee needed him. At the end of the story his pushing of his food away from him symbolically connects Mr Bamjee with Mrs Bamjee. No longer is Mr Bamjee thinking of himself.

  • How does Bamjee feel about his wife’s political activities?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Bamjee is not pleased and it is only when Mrs Bamjee goes on hunger strike that he begins to support her.

  • What happens when the government finds out about Mrs Bamjee’s activities?

  • How do the members of Mrs Bamjee’s family react to what happens to her?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Each is supportive of her. With both Girlie and Jimmy visiting their mother in prison. While Mr Bamjee though he doesn’t go to the prison he still at the end of the story supports Mrs Bamjee. Something that is symbolically noticeable when he pushes his food away from him.

  • What political struggle is Mrs Bamjee engaged with?

  • There’s this thing i don’t understand about the number of children mrs bamjee had….please read the second paragraph carefully

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Julian. I’ve mentioned in some comments that there are nine children. Thanks to your observations I now realise that there are ten children.

  • “She did so as she might have been pounding chilies” What’s the writer saying in these lines?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Evans. Gordimer is using a figure of speech called a simile to suggest that Mrs Bamjee is working as hard at printing the leaflets as she would be doing if she was preparing chilies for a meal for the family. She is focused on the task she is doing.

  • What does the word” flattered” tells us about how Mr Bamjee feels about his wife’s political activities?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Jabulani. Mr Bamjee is thinking of himself when he sees some of the people helping Mrs Bamjee. It is as though his ego is boosted that such dignitaries or important people come into his home. It is only at the end of the story that he actually thinks about Mrs Bamjee’s political activities and supports them..

  • How many rooms are there in the Bamjee household?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Nelly. In total there are four rooms in the Bamjee household. The living room and three other rooms which all contain beds.

  • Did Indian people have to carry passes during the time the story is set?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Yes they did have to carry passes. However the carrying of passes stopped in 1986. I’m not sure what year that Gordimer has set the story. I know it’s during the apartheid era which ended in 1991.

  • ‘Isn’t it enough that you’ve got the Indians’ troubles on your back?’ Can you please explain this line for me. I find it hard to understand.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Lindokuhle. Bamjee appears to be annoyed that Mrs Bamjee is taking on the cause of black South Africans. He thinks that those who are Indian already have enough trouble without trying to help others.

  • Please describe the visit of the Special Branch (969).

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Lissa. Mrs Bamjee is calm throughout the time that the Special Branch arrive at her home. Though she is annoyed that the Special Branch try and take the tome Nehru had written. If anything Mrs Bamjee is determined. She knows that she is guilty. However guilt is the last thing on her mind. Mr Bamjee on the other hand blames his wife publicly for what is happening. He is not supportive of his wife. The Special Branch themselves also know exactly what they are doing and who they are looking for. Which may suggest that an informant has provided information to the Special Branch about Mrs Bamjee’s actions.

  • There is a line that says during Mrs Bamjee and Mr Bamjee’s verbal exchange “The children looked expectantly, unalarmed and interested at Bamjee” Can you explain what was the reason for this reaction

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Thandi. The children appear to be more supportive of Mrs Bamjee than they are of Mr Bamjee. He seems to be the only one in the family who has a problem with the duplicating machine being in the house. That might be why the children are unalarmed and interested in what Mr Bamjee might have to say.

  • How does the title “A Chip of Glass Ruby” align with the story itself?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Gordimer may be suggesting that Mrs Bamjee is a shining light (chip of glass ruby shining) in a dark place (apartheid).

  • What are the themes of the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Hanedzani. The themes of the story are sacrifice, prejudice, selfishness, justice, commitment and apartheid.

  • Hey, gyz what is Girlie’s real name?

  • Jimmy was ridiculed in the class by Mr Petersen

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Millz. Mr Peterson does not like what Mrs Bamjee is doing so he ridicules Jimmy.

      • Has the teacher reprimanded Ahmed or Jimmy ? In page 26 of the book Changes its written ‘they have been cruel to Ahmed’

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Thanks for the comment Senelisiwe. As far as I can figure out it is Ahmed who has been reprimanded by the teacher because of Mrs Bamjee’s actions.

  • What is the meant by the word”hunger strike”

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      A hunger strike is an action taken by an individual in protest at something. In this case Mrs Bamjee refuses to eat food while in prison. Such are her strong feelings about apartheid.

  • Did Mrs Bamjee do anything in the anti apartheid movement other than using the duplicating machine to produce leaflets? I think there were some other things that I didn’t catch in the book.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Randall. Mrs Bamjee at one time before she started using the duplicating press wrote the minutes for meetings she attended with others who supported the anti-apartheid movement. Mrs Bamjee was also part of the South African Indian Congress.

  • Is the title of the story suitable if so how if not how?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Manana. The title of the story may be suitable as Gordimer could be suggesting that Mrs Bamjee is a shining light (chip of glass ruby shining) in a dark place (apartheid).

  • What’s the plot of the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Elizabeth. The plot of the story is an Indian woman living in South Africa (Mrs Bamjee) supports the anti-apartheid movement and dedicates her time to informing others of the perils of the apartheid system. She has the backing of her children though she does not receive the support of her husband. She owns a printing press and publishes anti-apartheid material and is discovered by the police to be doing so. For her actions Mrs Bamjee ends up going to prison. Where she decides to go on hunger strike at which point her husband understands what drives his wife and he begins to support her.

  • To what apartheid group do the Bamjees belong? How do you know?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Smangele. As far as I can work out Mrs Bamjee is a member of the South African Indian Congress who were involved in defiance campaigns during the struggles against apartheid. The South African Indian Congress also formed alliances with other movements. The reason we know this is because as readers we can see that Mr Bamjee after Mrs Bamjee is arrested by the police notices Congress rosettes.

      Also if you’re reading the story using the Changes collection on page 25 there is a footnote at the bottom of the page which tells you about the South African Indian Congress.

  • Describe what comes “hidden, in a wash basket in a black man’s taxi”, and tell what exactly is used for?

  • Describe the kids activities that first night and explain why are we told about their activities in such detail?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The children are all in the same room as Mrs Bamjee. They look on as the duplicating machine arrives and they are unalarmed. It is possible that by being unalarmed the children are in support of Mrs Bamjee.

  • What is the setting of the story?

  • What is the plot of the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      A married Indian woman (Mrs Bamjee) living in South Africa is part of the anti-apartheid movement. Through the use of a duplicating press she prints anti-apartheid leaflets hoping to highlight to others how negative, wrong and unjust apartheid is.

  • Which word is repeated? What effect does this create?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Tseleng. I’m not sure if you mean repeated side by side or mentioned on more than one occasion in the story. If you mean on more than one occasion in the story the word is Group Areas. The significance of repeating the word is that it gives emphasis to what the Group Areas Act was and the conditions non-whites had to live under in South Africa under the apartheid regime.

  • What is the character of Mrs Bamjee and Mr Bamjee?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mrs Bamjee is an Indian woman who is part of the anti-apartheid movement. She looks after her children from her previous marriage and Mr Bamjee’s children too. While at the same time printing anti-apartheid leaflets by way of the duplicating press. Mr Bamjee is also Indian and is Mrs Bamjee’s husband. It is only at the end of the story that he supports Mrs Bamjee’s actions. Something that is noticeable symbolically when he refuses to eat his dinner at home while Mrs Bamjee is on hunger strike in prison.

      • what it is ironic about Mrs Bamjee’s arrest? What is the significance to mention the watch in the story?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Thanks for the comment Snghalela. This is a tricky question as I’m not sure of the answer when it comes to the irony of Mrs Bamjee being arrested. During the apartheid regime I’m not sure if Indian people in South Africa felt the full force of apartheid. If this is the case Mrs Bamjee has dedicated her life to helping others who were affected by the full force of apartheid when she could have easily ignored the situation like Mr. Bamjee does. Mrs Bamjee acts selflessly.

          I can’t find a mention of a watch. What page is that on?

  • How does the title relate to the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Njabs. Gordimer may be suggesting that Mrs Bamjee is a shining light (chip of glass ruby shining) in a dark place (apartheid). It is also possible that Gordimer is using the colour of a ruby (usually red) to suggest symbolically the idea that Mrs Bamjee is prepared to give her life (or blood) in her fight against apartheid.

  • Why would bamjee sometimes speak out loud to himself?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      What page is that on Tshego?

      • Page 27 in the first paragraph

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Thanks. Bamjee is worried about Mrs Bamjee. He can’t believe she has been arrested and is on hunger strike. Also he is questioning himself too. There is a sense that he feels responsible for allowing Mrs Bamjee use the duplicating press. Bamjee feels powerless.

  • Ok thanx for answering my first question. I have the second question. Why does Mr Bamjee feel so resentful about his wife’s arrest? The other question. How does the painting of Taj Mahal reflect what is happening in the story? Is the comparison effective and why?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee may feel resentful because he does not like the independent streak that Mrs Bamjee is showing. He might believe that it undermines his authority and if anything Mr Bamjee may feel that Mrs Bamjee has brought trouble on the family. The painting of the Taj Mahal is there because Mr and Mrs Bamjee come from India. It is most likely used to remind both Mr and Mrs Bamjee of their heritage. In that way it may be effective. Particularly for Mr Bamjee who views himself as an Indian rather than as a South African. Mrs Bamjee on the other hand can identify with South Africans (black South Africans) hence her role in the anti-apartheid movement.

  • What do u think gave purpose to Mrs Bamjee’s life?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Remo. Mrs Bamjee seems to be driven by her love for her family and her desire to fight the injustices of apartheid.

      • How does a campaign take place ‘underground’ if leaders are arrested and offices are closed down?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Mrs Bamjee is an example of a campaign being able to continue despite the leaders of the movement being arrested and the offices closed down. Rather than being public things are done in secret or underground. That’s why Mrs Bamjee has the duplicating press. So she can continue to get the anti-apartheid message out onto the streets.

  • That’s all I wanted to know. Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

  • What was the chip of grass ruby and what did it symbolise for Mrs Bamjee.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The chip of glass ruby was a piece of jewelry that Mrs Bamjee’s mother gave her when she was a girl. Mrs Bamjee considered it too old-style.

  • summary of the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      A short summary of the story would be. An Indian woman (Mrs Bamjee) living in South Africa and who is part of the anti-apartheid movement has a duplicating press. Much to the annoyance of her husband (Mr Bamjee). The police come to her house and arrest her and she is sent to prison. When in prison she goes on hunger strike and her husband begins to realise how important his wife’s feelings are when it comes to apartheid.

  • Find examples both historically, politically and literally in the story that indicate the time frame of the story.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The story takes place during the apartheid regime in South Africa. The reason we know this is because the Group Areas Act (1950) is still in place. It’s difficult to say the precise year that the story is set but the fact that Mrs Bamjee is using a duplicating press instead of a photocopier or printer suggests that the story takes place prior to the photocopier being invented. The photocopier was invented in 1938 but didn’t make it onto the market till 1959. This suggests that the story most likely is set in the 1950s.

  • Identity the things that transformed Girlie into a modern day woman?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      As for the transformation that made Girlie a modern day woman. Girlie has her own job which suggests she is independent of others. She also has her own home. Girlie’s independence seems to stem from her mother (Mrs Bamjee) who is also free thinking and independent.

  • What realisation came to Mr Bamjee on his birthday ? How do we know this from the story.

  • How did different members of the family react to Mrs Bamjee’s arrest and hunger strike?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Jimmy and Girlie were supportive of Mrs Bamjee. While at first Mr Bamjee was anger because he didn’t support Mrs Bamjee’s actions. However at the end of the story Mr Bamjee ends up supporting Mrs Bamjee when he discovers she is on hunger strike.

  • What is the theme of the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The central theme of the story is sacrifice with sub themes including prejudice, selfishness, justice, commitment and apartheid.

  • Discuss the relationship between Mr and Mrs Bamjee

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr and Mrs Bamjee though they live together live separate lives. They are independent of each other or at least they seem to be. Mr Bamjee goes to work everyday and Mrs Bamjee looks after the younger children while at the same time continuing her activities with for the anti-apartheid movement.

  • Similarities and differences of Mrs Zanip Bamjee and Mr Yusuf Bamjee

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mrs Bamjee and Mr Bamjee have one thing in common. They are both strong willed. Mrs Bamjee with her activities for the anti-apartheid movement and Mr Bamjee with his belief that Mrs Bamjee has done and is doing something wrong. Their differences are the fact that not only does Mr Bamjee not think what Mrs Bamjee is doing is right. But he does not support Mrs Bamjee. Not till the end of the story.

  • I’m helping my son with his homework. All your answers to understand the story are helpful

  • Can you give me 2 examples from extract that show Bamjees are not wealthy.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The Bamjees (nine children and Mr and Mrs Bamjee) live in a four room house. They have a dining room and the other three rooms are used as bedrooms. Also one of the children is going to a party and has nothing to wear. Mrs Bamjee suggests the child goes to Girlie’s home to find something to wear. The home also doesn’t have windows rather it has wire mesh acting as windows. Finally rather than having fresh carnations in the vase Mrs Bamjee has two plastic carnations. Which would suggest Mrs Bamjee cannot afford flowers to decorate the house.

  • Identify and discuss theme in line 16-20 of extract plz

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Those particular lines appear to deal with the arrival of the duplicating press and the fact that it arrives hidden in a wash-basket. Gordimer may be suggesting that due to the seriousness of what Mrs Bamjee is doing. Things had to be kept secret.

  • In your opinion, was Mrs Bamjee imprisoned because of natives as her husband claims?

    No, she was imprisoned because of duplicating pamphlets/leaflets using duplicator machine to support ant-apartheid. This was illegal.

    Is it correct ?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Yes you are correct. As readers we never know how the police discovered that Mrs Bamjee had a duplicating machine. Mr Bamjee is assuming she was reported by natives but this may not be the case. There is no proof that it was natives.

  • Thanks so far. Last question. In your opinion was Mrs Bamjee imprisoned because of the natives as her husband claims. Discuss your views.

    My answer is No its because police found duplicating machine that Mrs Bamjee uses to print leaflets and this was against the law

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      You’re correct. There is no proof that natives reported Mrs Bamjee. Mr Bamjee is assuming it was natives but he can’t back his assumption up with evidence.

  • Explain how Mr Bamjee and Jimmy react differently when they realise that Mrs Bamjee is about to be arrested.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee is angry and blames Mrs Bamjee for her actions. While Jimmy is supportive even going as far as packing his mother’s suitcase for her.

  • explain why bamjee would react with sudden terror if he overslept

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      It might be because he was afraid that he would miss out on a day’s work. Though in the story the sudden terror that Mr Bamjee feels thinking he has overslept is due to the fact that he hears the police in the home however he thinks it might be intruders.

  • discuss how bamjee’s character changes in the presence of the visitors and when they are gone

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee is polite and at times in awe of the people who come to visit Mrs Bamjee. However after they leave Mr Bamjee gives out to Mrs Bamjee for continuing her anti-apartheid operations.

  • Bamjee and Jimmy react differently to Ahmed’s experience. Explain how they react

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Bamjee is not supportive of Ahmed and feels sorry for himself and blames Mrs Bamjee for the trouble that Ahmed got into in school. Jimmy on the other hand is supportive of Ahmed.

  • refer to line 19-20 they made an example of him
    is it fair for the teacher to make such an example in class

  • explain why the following statement is true
    bamjee works hard to support his family

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee does work hard for his family. Getting up each morning and starting his job as a street vendor. He wants to provide for his family even if he does disagree with Mrs Bamjee’s actions.

  • Explain Mr Bamjee’s reaction when he learns of what happened to Ahmed at school

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      He places the blame for what happened to Ahmed squarely on the shoulders of Mrs Bamjee. If she had not acted as she had done. Ahmed would not have been singled out in class.

  • refer to line 2 Page 26 ….you see what has been done to me… What is Bamjee referring to in this line

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee is complaining to those people who have come to visit him after Mrs Bamjee has been sent to prison. His number one concern is how he is going to rear the nine children and work his cart. He is not thinking of Mrs Bamjee in prison.

  • lines 4-8 ‘He had a sudden vision ….had time to learn’
    referring to these lines explain why bamjee sees himself as a victim

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      You seem to be working of an extract. Which I don’t have. What page number in the story are lines 4-8?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Bamjee feels as though there is nothing he can do. He knows how important Mrs Bamjee’s anti-apartheid work is to her and he feels maddened, baffled and hopeless.

  • In your opinion, how does the the author portray Bamjee’s character to show that he totally depends on his wife in the home front?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      One example is the fact that Bamjee relies on Mrs Bamjee to look after the children while he is working. Another example is the fact that it is normal for Mrs Bamjee to have Bamjee’s dinner ready for him after he finishes work.

  • Using your own words describe the manner in which Bamjee eats,(line 16-18)

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      You seem to be working of an extract. Which I don’t have. What page number in the story are lines 16-18?

  • Bamjee does not like black people. Give two e examples which prove that the above statement is true. Refer to the story as a whole

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Bamjee thinks that black people should deal with their own problems (Group Areas) and also as far as I can recall he blames natives (black people) for telling the police about the duplicating press.

  • Refer to Libes 14-15(‘He fell into bed each night like a stone…to its feet’.)

    (a)Identify the figure of speech in these lines
    (b)How does this figure of speech enhance the description given in these lines?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      You seem to be working of an extract. Which I don’t have. What page number in the story are lines 14-15?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The figure of speech that is being used is called a simile. It enhances the description given by placing an emphasis on how heavy the load is that Bamjee feels he is carrying (Mrs Bamjee in prison).

  • What gift did Mrs Bamjee buy for Mr Bamjee on his birthday?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’m not sure. I don’t think she bought him a gift. She was in prison when it was Bamjee’s birthday and she told Girlie not to forget it was Bamjee’s birthday. I think her gift to Bamjee was the fact that she was thinking of him on his birthday.

  • Thanks Dermot.

  • I want you to brief me about “Yusuf” character.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      To me Yusuf or Bamjee is selfish. He thinks of nobody else in the story but himself. It is only when he feels as though he has lost or is losing Mrs Bamjee that he starts to act and think differently. No longer being selfish.

  • Compare and contrast Mrs Bamjee and her husband in relation to family responsibility and their personal characters.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee comes across as being selfish when compared to Mrs Bamjee. He has expectations of Mrs Bamjee (to look after the family) while he goes out to work. He never thinks that maybe he could look after the children and Mrs Bamjee could go out to work. The only person that Mr Bamjee may be responsible to is himself. Also Mrs Bamjee is concerned about black South Africans while Mr Bamjee does not identify with black South Africans. Considering that they should fend for themselves.

  • Assume you are of the Indian descendants from India to South Africa for tourism. You happened to visit the Bamjee family. When you return home to India, the Indian government ask you to explain the living conditions of the Indians in South Africa.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Taking the Bamjee’s living conditions as an example. They live in a home that is too small for them. They have acclimatized well to their environment but still nonetheless remain relatively poor. With regard to both Mr Bamjee and Mrs Bamjee. Mr Bamjee is not supportive of his wife. Which may be a generalization and might not represent all Indian migrants to South Africa. Overall life is not easy for the Bamjee’s and Mr Bamjee may feel that life is made harder by Mrs Bamjee’s political activities.

  • What did the police envisage to find in the home of Mr Bamjee?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      If Mr Bamjee is to be believed than the police knew they would find the duplicating press. Mr Bamjee feeling as though his wife had been betrayed by someone (natives).

  • Explain the attitude Mr Bamjee had towards the blacks.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee believes that black people should fend for themselves. He does not identify with them in any way.

  • Why did Mrs bamjee apply her physical test against the police?

  • Briefly discuss the effect the group areas have on the lives of the Indians

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The Group Areas Act limited property rights for Indians (and others). As far as I know the act also included the segregation of Indians (and others) in urban areas. Though you might need to double check this.

  • How many bedrooms did the Bamjee’s house have? and how many people resided there. What did this kind of house symbolize during the apartheid?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      There are four room in the house. Three of which are used as bedrooms. In total eleven people live in the house. Nine children and Mr and Mrs Bamjee. The fact that the house is so small may suggest that non-whites were segregated in the one area. Restricted as to where they live. It is also possible that the fact that the house is so small that Gordimer is highlighting that the Bamjee’s lived in poverty.

  • 1.What type of narration is used in telling story?

    2. why did zanip bring a duplicating machine into the house?

    3.where had this machine been concealed when it was brought into the home ?

    4.How does Mr Bamjee make a living ?

    5.Early on the reader is made aware of the conflict between Mr and Mrs Bamjee ,what is the causes of this conflict ?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Third person narrator.
      2. To print leaflets in support of the anti-apartheid movement.
      3. It was delivered to the home by taxi.
      4. As far as I know he is a street vendor but you might need to double check this.
      5. Mr Bamjee does not think that Mrs Bamjee should get involved with the anti-apartheid movement.

  • 1.What do you learn about Zanip’s character from the fact that she can converse with both the most prominent Indian’s in the community and also with the most ordinary black women?

    2.Why does yunsy yell at his wife when the special Branch had come to arrest?

    3.Two reason why Mr Bamjee mocks his step daughter Girlie ?

    4.Why did Girlie pay Yusaf a visit in the early morning reasons?

    5.Mr Bamjee learns of the things that attracted him to Mrs Bamjee mention two of those qualities?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Zanip is able to think of others. She has empathy for people and is able to identify with them.
      2. He may have felt as though she was bringing trouble onto the family.
      3. I’m not sure Yusaf does mock Girlie. At least I can’t seem to find it in the story. If he doe mock her it might because he is hurting over the fact that Zanip is in jail. You’ll need to give me the page number where the incident takes place.
      4. It was Yusaf’s birthday.
      5. She was a good plain Moselm woman who stamped her own chillies. She was also not a modern woman who wore long skirts. (Double check this).

  • Describe the kids’ activities that first night and explain why we are told about their activities in such detail?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The children are in the living room listening to Mr Bamjee giving out about the duplicating machine. The fact that we are told this is probably two fold. Firstly because there is no privacy in the house (it’s too small) and secondly they might be used to Mr Bamjee giving out to Mrs Bamjee about the anti-apartheid movement. Mr Bamjee does not support the movement.

  • What reason does girlie give for her mother always remembering others?

  • What does Mr Bamjee learn in the closing paragraphs of the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Mr Bamjee realises that he needs Mrs Bamjee more than he thought he did and admits to himself that he loves her. He also begins to understand why Mrs Bamjee acted as she did. Mrs Bamjee doesn’t forget anybody.

  • In the story ordinary people are willing to sacrifice their comfort to stand up against injustice. Discuss your opinions on this statement.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I would say this statement would be true when it comes to Mrs Bamjee. She is prepared to sacrifice her freedom in order to help others.

  • Consider the story as whole, show how the character of Mr Bamjee changes.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      At the beginning of the story Mr Bamjee has no understanding or appears to wish to not understand Mrs Bamjee’s actions. However by the end of the story Mr Bamjee realises that Mrs Bamjee is dedicated to helping others. When the police arrive to arrest Mrs Bamjee. Mr Bamjee is not supportive of her. Yet when she goes on hunger strike it is noticeable that Mr Bamjee pushes his own food away rather than eat it. This could further suggest (symbolically) that Mr Bamjee is beginning to support Mrs Bamjee and the cause of anti-apartheid.

  • When the narrator says Mr Bamjee “Shrugged over it”,he mean Bamjee feels…?

    (a) Convinced
    (b) Satisfied
    (c) Puzzled
    (d) Sympathetic

    Explain why Mr Bamjee feels this way.

  • So girlie and Jimmy were against what their father was saying to their mother

  • In the opening essay, Head describes some of the problems faced by the people who live in the rural “desert and semi-desert places” of Botswana. List some of the problems she mentions

  • 1)what does she say that these people have, on the more positive side?
    2)in the first story, what simile is used in the first line to describe the old woman?
    3)How did the speaker assist the old woman?
    4)How did the woman’s family thank her?
    5)”The last paragraph of this story gives some idea of how people cope with the sun” explain please.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. They have immense humanity and are gentle.
      2. A thin stork of corn in the wind.
      3. She feeds the old woman
      4. Her daughter gave the speaker a pail of water.
      5. Can you give me the first line of the paragraph so I can look it up.

      • This is the first line of paragraph “when the duplicating machine was brought into the house, Bamjee said, ‘isn’t enough that you have got the Indians’ troubles on your back?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          You appear to be jumping from story to story. Your original comment was on Bessie Head’s ‘Village People.’ The line you’ve just given me is for ‘A Chip of Glass Ruby.’ There is no mention of the sun in ‘A Chip of Glass Ruby.’

  • When was the story set? Like what year?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The story takes place during the apartheid regime in South Africa. The reason we know this is because the Group Areas Act (1950) is still in place. It’s difficult to say the precise year that the story is set but the fact that Mrs Bamjee is using a duplicating press instead of a photocopier or printer suggests that the story takes place prior to the photocopier being invented. The photocopier was invented in 1938 but didn’t make it onto the market till 1959. This suggests that the story most likely is set in the 1950s.

  • What are characters and their characteristics in the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      There are four or five characters in the story but Mr and Mrs Bamjee would be the two most important. Mr Bamjee is a selfish man who does not support Mrs Bamjee. While Mrs Bamjee is a strong independent woman who believes in justice for all. Hence her involvement in the anti-apartheid movement. The minor characters would be Dr Khan a supporter of Mrs Bamjee’s activities and Jimmy and Girlie. Mrs Bamjee’s children. They too are supportive of Mrs Bamjee.

  • 1.A duplicate machine know as what?
    2.Mrs Bamjee divorce her husband or what explain.
    3.What the use of ink bottle? 4.Mention Mrs Bamjee character?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Similar to a modern day photocopier. Mrs Bamjee used it to duplicate anti-apartheid leaflets.
      2. No Mrs Bamjee is not divorced. She is in prison.
      3. I don’t recall any mention of an ink bottle but it may be used for the duplicating machine (You’ll need to double check this).
      4. Mrs Bamjee is a warm, kind,caring and unselfish person. She appears to put others before herself.

  • What is the occupation of Mrs Bamjee?

  • About that irony, isn’t it that the duplicating was no good as it is said hence it was used for political issue which let the wife to jail.?

  • Explain how the family in the story come to be compose of nine “nine” Bamjee and Pahad .children

  • They did not telling them twise. Explain what has happened.

  • What does the doll’s house represent?

  • 1 what does the use of the word “thing” tell us about Mr Bamjee’s attitude toward the machine.

    2 why does he feel this way?

    3 Explain the irony in Mr Bamjee response his wife’s activities.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Mr Bamjee does not support the use of the duplicating machine.

      2. He feels that black South Africans should fend for themselves.

      3. I don’t know the answer to this question. Perhaps Mr Bamjee doesn’t realise that he is also being helped by his wife (double check this).

  • Mr Bamjee wonders why he married this window with five children. What does he conclude at the end of the school?

  • 1. Explain both the Literal and Figurative meaning of the tittle of this short story

    2. Do you feel sorry for Mr Bamjee and his children in this extract.Discuss your views

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Literal meaning might be literally a piece of glass from a glass ruby. Figurative might mean that Mrs Bamjee is a shining light just as a ruby might shine.

      2. What extract?

  • 1. How does the title relate to story?
    2. The effectiveness of the theme?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Gordimer may be suggesting that Mrs Bamjee is a shining light (chip of glass ruby shining) in a dark place (apartheid). It is also possible that Gordimer is using the colour of a ruby (usually red) to suggest symbolically the idea that Mrs Bamjee is prepared to give her life (or blood) in her fight against apartheid.

      2. There are several themes. Are you referring to one in particular?

  • Thanks is this the summary of the story and the theme, where can I find the questions

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      If you’re looking for questions why not go through the questions asked in the comments.

  • What does the chip of glass ruby symbolize in Mrs. Bamjee’s life and how does it link to the story?

  • 1.To what Apartheid group do the Bamjee belong?How do you know

    2.describe what comes “Hiden in Wash basket in a black Man’s Taxi”and tell what activities in such detail

    3.describe the Kids Activity that first night and explain are we told about their activities in such detail?

    4.How does the current Mrs Bamjee differ from the Girl she was?

    5.describe the visitors to the Bamjee home How does the Way his wife relates to them influence his view of his wife

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. I’ve answered this question before. You’ll find an answer here.

      2. I’ve answered this question before. You’ll find an answer here.

      3. I’ve answered this question before. You’ll find an answer here.

      4. I’m not really sure. Perhaps the fact that Mrs Bamjee no longer wears a chip of glass ruby in her nose may suggest she is no longer following the traditions she did when she was a girl. You may need to read the story for a complete an thorough answer to this question.

      5. From memory I’m not sure. Perhaps Mr Bamjee is bad-tempered about the whole thing and doesn’t agree with Mrs Bamjee doing what she is doing.

  • 6.Does Bamjee share his wife’s interest in politics? motivate your answer

    7.What does the Message Mrs Bamjee send to girlie tell us about Mrs Bamjee and her relationship with her children?

    8.How does Mrs Bamjee get her husbands mind off of the scary fact Dr Khan was arrested ?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      6. No. He believes that black South Africans should fend for themselves rather than Mrs Bamjee getting involved.

      7. Working from memory. That Mrs Bamjee cares about her children. You will need to double check this answer.

      8. She begins to make a dress for one of her daughter. Something which preoccupies and disarms Mr Bamjee.

  • 9.Mr Bamjee Wonders why he married this Widow with five children. what does he conclude at this point in the story?

    10.what happens when the government finds out about Mrs Bamjee’s activities?

    11.on page 26 it says “Ma is there because things like this happen”

    11.1 What is meant by “Things like this”?

    11.2 Explain how things like this led to their mother?

    12.why exactly is Mr Bamjee beffled Mad and Hopeless?

    13.Mr Bamjee says “What Importance is my birthday while she’s sitting there in Prison
    13.1 What is Fatima’s Answer?

    13.2 He reply Answer another of his question .which one ?what is the answer?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      9. He realises that he loves her.

      10. She is arrested and put in prison.

      11.1 Not in the version of the story I’m reading. Can you give me the context?

      11.2 Same as 11.1.

      12. Where does it say that Mr Bamjee is baffled, mad and hopeless?

      13.1 Mrs Bamjee remembers everyone (paraphrasing). You’ll need to read the story for the exact phrasing.

      13.2 I don’t understand the question.

  • 1. The speech of one of the two characters below shows a racist world view, the other shows humanism ,or Ubuntu, link each speaker with a view of the world

    …Bamjee said, isn’t it enough that you’ve got the Indians troubles on your back? Mr’s Bamjee said, with a smile that showed the gap of a missing tooth but was confident all the same, What’s the difference, Yusuf? We’ve got all the same troubles.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Mr Bamjee has a racist point of view in the sentence while Mrs Bamjee’s view would be considered the view of a humanist.

  • 1. What did Mr Bamjee do for a living?

    2 Where had the duplicating machine been concealed when it was brought into the home?

  • Referring to page 23 .

    Paragraph 2

    “Although she was not surprised, her hands shook like a very old person’s as she undid the locks and the complicated catch on the wire burglar-proofing .

    a) identify the figure of speech
    b) explain how this figure of speech contributes to the meaning of these lines.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      a) Simile.

      b) It may be case that Mrs Bamjee despite being courageous in her actions is also afraid and as such shakes as an old person might.

  • Explain the irony of Mrs Bamjee’s arrest by two coloured policemen

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      It is ironic that Mrs Bamjee is arrested by two coloured policemen as she is attempting to get equality for coloured people.

  • It doesn’t have a download option

  • What happens at the end of the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The end of the stroy is open-ended. The reader never knows for sure what happens Mrs Bamjee.

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