Setting and narrator

Here, you can read useful information regardig the setting and narrator of the short story “The Waste Land” by Alan Paton.

Setting

Published in 1961, “The Waste Land” by Alan Paton is most likely set in South Africa, where the author lived, and in a time contemporary to its publication. This is indicated by the reference to a local “idiom”  which probably refers to an African dialect.

Time setting

To better understand the setting, you should note that the historical time was a period in South Africa when the apartheid – the segregation of blacks from whites – was debated but remained a law, and that the state became a republic in 1961. The chronology of the short story is very brief, with the events spanning over a few hours in the nigh...

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