Nicolette Writes

Professional Freelance Writer and Stay-at-Home Mom

EXCELLENT: “Behind the polished panelling an ant eats away the wood…”


I think that this quote from Alan Paton’s ‘Cry the Beloved Country’ is excellent! Well written.

“In the deserted harbour there is yet water that laps against the quays. In the dark and silent forest there is a leaf that falls. Behind the polished panelling the white ant eats away the wood. Nothing is ever quiet, except for fools.”

Ooo I love this kind of writing. At first, I had to read this twice. So, the context of this extract is (pre)apartheid South Africa, 1940s. This extract is preceded with a description of how South African policemen and state departments were at ease about the possibility of black resistance, as long as none of the ‘black meetings’ led to violence or any noticeable disruption. Everything to them, the governing white South Africans at the time, seemed to be under control… but in the silent forest a leaf falls, behind the APPEARANCE of polished wood, an ant eats away at the wood. And today, we have so much hate between races, because ‘fools’ thought everything was quiet – that they could just continue as they did.

Excellent writing Mr Alan Paton!

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