Karakters en betoog in André P. Brink se Gerugte van reën
Keywords:André Brink, Rumours of Rain, characterisation, Afrikaner nationalism
Gerugte van reën (Rumours of Rain, 1978) is one of André Brink's notorious political novels on apartheid and Afrikaner Nationalism. This essay focuses on the rhetorical processes in the novel and particularly on the use of characterisation as a vehicle for the implied author's ideology. Rhetorically the novel is aimed at Afrikaans readers - previously mostly "Afrikaners" - and they get to choose between two ideological models, two distinct contrasting expressions of being an Afrikaner: Martin Mynhardt versus Bernard Franken. The "progressive" Nationalist Mynhardt - under the surface greedy, egotistical and corrupt - functions as a verligte (enlightened) critical voice against traditional Afrikaner rule, although the author turns him into an unreliable narrator that betrays his political and personal principles. Franken, on the other hand, is presented as an alternative Afrikaner prototype, almost without blemish. He is self-sacrificing, actively engaged against apartheid and altruistic. The reader is left with little choice but to choose between these opposite expressions of being an Afrikaner.
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