Glimpses of Women in Overalls and Mrs Plum

1379 Words Jul 7th, 2018 6 Pages
Commencing this assignment an attempt at a detailed analysis of Karen Press’s poem Glimpses of Women in Overalls will be made. Following such an analysis I shall articulate how the poem raises comparable concerns with that of Mrs Plum written by Es’kia Mphahlele. I have selected this particular story due to the face that it I believe both works communicative similar themes, therefore I shall explore the comparison below.

In order to provide a detailed analysis of the poem Glimpses of Women in Overalls it is vital to first establish the context in which it is written. Karen Press was born during the Apartheid era in South African and it can be said that she was therefore much influence by what she witnessed first-hand. To begin one
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The concluding four lines of the poem “reaching into the mist, as far as the eye can see … of their incomprehensible songs barely audible” (Chapman, 2002: 446) could be understood as how the final woman of observation longs for the luxuries her employers have. “maltese poodles, hot water cylinder, supermarkets and lavatories” are all examples of such luxuries taken from the poem. The mist creates a feeling of uncertainty and fear of what is to come, therefore it could be explained as her reaching or wanting things that are unlikely to be her own and her fear of the future.
The analysis of Karen Press’s Glimpses of Women in Overalls is complete and I shall now move on by comparing it to a short story written by Es’kia Mphahlele titled Mrs Plum. Both the poem and the short story raise comparable concerns with regard to the context in which they belong. This context would be that of the Apartheid era under which the rights of mostly all non-Whites were dictated.

There are two chief concerns I wish to focus on the first being the hypocrisy and injustice that surrounds the writings of both narrators. Karabo a native black South African woman enters Mrs Plum’s home as a domestic servant and finds that her employer is not like the other white people she has worked for in the past as Mrs Plum “loved dogs and Africans”. Within the first stanza of Press’s poem the issue of oppression is
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