The Prisioner Who Wore Glasses Essay

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The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses by Bessie Head
In this story, “The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses”, Brille goes to prison for his aggressive political beliefs.   He is not a criminal, but he is someone that believes in equality.   He knows what he did to arrive in prison and he has not and will not change his beliefs.   In the beginning, span one is able to do basically whatever they like, until a new warder is put in charge of them.   Hannetijie, the new warder, is a strict man of authority that does not allow any of span one to step out of line.   Brille, which is a nickname for a man that wears glasses, gets pushed around by Hannetijie.   Hannetijie gets caught stealing fertilizer by Brille, and Brille in return gets his revenge on Hannetijie.   Brille in the end feels guilty for blackmailing and giving him such a hard time that he makes a deal with Hannetijie.   Brille tells him that all span one wants is for him to be on their side, and Hannetijie agrees. In the next few paragraphs, we will discuss the most important themes in this story.
Theme is the central meaning or dominant idea in a literary work (Myer 2145).   A theme provides a unifying point around which the plot, characters, setting, point of view, symbols, and other elements of work are organized (Myer 2145).   There are several themes to this short story, but the most important theme is race discrimination.   This story took place around the 1940’s when black South Africans were political prisoners for being frequently assertive.   Some examples of imprisonment would be speaking out in public against the government or protesting government policies.   Brille went to prison for having political beliefs, because he wanted peace and equality between blacks and whites.   This story reflects the time when racism was a big problem in Africa.   Even though Brille went to prison because of his political beliefs, he still did not change what he believed in.   When Hannetjie’s said “I don’t take orders from a kaffir” (Head...

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