Racial Discrimination In The Covenant By James A. Michener

1188 Words 5 Pages
James A. Michener’s The Covenant is an elaborate novel of the history of South Africa. Michener writes to inform us of the rich history of the great nation. He is able to use fictional characters to bring life to historical events. Michener 's goal is to illustrate the creation and settlement of South Africa. People can use this book to learn more about the history of Africa, learn more about the struggles of religious persecution and racial discrimination, and also how to develop and lead a nation. Michener is a talented writer and uses great detail and a wide vocabulary to help bring culture and history to life. Racial discrimination became a major factor in the development of South Africa. The novel discussed racial discrimination in various …show more content…
The Dutch were sailing and exploring new lands, when they were settling at a fort a small group of Hottentots (native group of southwestern Africa, now referred to as Khoikhoi) approached. The group wanted to live with the Dutch. The officers thought of Hottentots as savages and could not believe they were wanting to live in the fort. Willem Van Doorn helped further explain it would be a good idea and the Hottentots could help the Dutch grow cattle, vegetables and cloth. The officials just laughed. This was the first proposal for natives and whites to work together. The officers couldn’t imagine themselves working together with the Hottentots, they believed they were inferior. The officers couldn’t believe that a band of primitives were laying down terms (124-125). This was yet another early scenario in which white men discriminated a different colored group. The white race believed they were superior to all and could not be helped. They saw the Hottentots as savages and in no way helpful. If the Dutch had accepted help the settlers and natives could have possibly created an even more beautiful …show more content…
Each day that I read I was able to travel back in time and Michener has a way of drawing you in. The novel was a way to escape some daily life each day and gave me a reason to just sit down and read. Michener does a great job of combining history and fiction, so I was able to get something out of it. I enjoy reading good books and I’m glad I was introduced to Michener who is a talented author. I am now interested in reading his other accounts of history.
One thing I did not like about the novel is it was somewhat hard to understand. I found it difficult in the beginning sections to follow what was happening at all times. The book went so far into detail that it made it hard for me to move on and figure out what was being described next. There were also many names and characters it was hard to keep them all straight. The sections were very long and had lots of events in them and I had very little background knowledge to the South African country so it was all mostly new to

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