Analysis of A Walk in The Night by Alex La Guma


      A Walk in the Night   by Alex La Guma, is a text set in  District six,Cape Town,South Africa. The novels treats issues of racial segregation,colour bar and apartheid. District six can be aptly described as the theatre of war and oppression. The tittle of the prose elicits crime control as the principal walkers in the night are Micheal Adonis,Raalt etc. The novel creates a powerful impression of that rhythm of violence,which characterizes South African life.







About the Author
        Alex La Guma was born in 1925,Cape Town,South Africa. He was educated at Trafalgar High School and Cape Town College. He has written Three Fold College, In the Fog of the Seasons, The Stone Country as well as other storie,some which appear in the Quartet.

Summary
          The novel opens with a rather frightening scene in which Micheal Adonis jumps off a moving truck and throws himself in the middle of a busy street.He ignores the horn and dodges the traffic until he reaches the pavement. While roaming aimlessly he meets Joe whose job is to pick thrown -away fish from the beach.Micheal gives him some money and Joe promise to give him fish the following day. The approach of the police van disperses them abruptly.  Micheal continues in his wandering,he goes back home where he meets the only white in their ghetto-Doughty, a retired actor. He shares drink with him but his hatred for whites clearly manifests when he his Doughty. Doughty falls and gives up the ghost.Micheal is shocked,he leaves the corpse and escapes through the other channel.
         Willieboy,Micheal's gang-mate goes to Micheal's  room only to discover a dead body lying helplessly on the floor[Doughty's body]. He quickly flees from the building. A woman too who is a tenant also screams after discovering Doughty's corpse.
        Raalt, a police constable discovers in his usual patrol,the unusual gathering in Micheal's house. He goes down there and discovers a murder has taken place. Raalt discovers that it is a white man who has just been killed,so he decides to investigate,he also orders detectives to search for the murderer.
        Raalt continues in his investigation,he meests Willieboy on the pavement,he is at the verge of aressting him when Willie flees. Raalt chases him and shoots at him. Blood gushes out from him,he is takrn to the police station instead of the hospital.On the way to the police station,Willieboy dies.
         Foxy and his men including Adonis conclude on how they would avenge Willieboy's death.


 Narrative Technique- Alex La Guma makes use of the 3rd person  narrative.

  Themes
1. Theme of apartheid
2. Theme of segregation
3. Theme of  uncertainty
4. Theme of disillusionment


Characters

Micheal Adonis
He is the protagonist of the novel
He is one of the illiterates and frustrated characters in the novel.
He is a racist to the core. He goes about asserting his individuality among the whites.
He is a principal walker in the night.


Doughty
He is a white man.
He is a retired actor.As a retired actor,he is not proud because of his colour and he like the blacks,he too is neglected by the white rulers
He is killed by Adonis. His death exposes the barbaric treatment and the ernomity of the hatred of the police in South African against black men.
      La Guma makes use of the character of Doughty through his calamity to expose the brutality of the white racists in South Africa.

Raalt.
He is a police officer.
He epitomizes the brutal force and the enormity of segregation.


Willieboy
He is a black man. He shares the sensibilities of Adonis on the racist phenomenon






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