July’s People


Nadine Gordimer

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on July’s People can help.

The Bakkie

Bam’s yellow bakkie (pickup truck) symbolizes the shifting power dynamics in the Smales family’s relationship with July. It also symbolizes the cultural displacement the Smales experience during their time in July’s village. Almost…

read analysis of The Bakkie

The Radio

The radio symbolizes the Smaleses’ white liberal hypocrisy. It also symbolizes the cultural displacement they experience when the country’s ongoing civil war forces them to abandon their old life in Johannesburg for July’s rural…

read analysis of The Radio

Bam’s Shotgun

The gun symbolizes the Smaleses’ loss of freedom and agency. It also symbolizes the hypocrisy that underlies the Smaleses’ liberalism. Bam’s shotgun is one of the few items from the Smales family’s old life in…

read analysis of Bam’s Shotgun