The IUP Journal of English Studies
Ecology Versus Materiality: An Ecocritical Reading of Nadine Gordimer’s Get a Life

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jun, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES41906
Author Name : Kusha Tiwari
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : English Studies
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 12



This paper examines how nature is culturally inscribed and how there is no retreat into a tranquil pastoral landscape from the decadent human world through a study of Nadine Gordimer’s Get a Life. In this novel, Gordimer explores how the moment of crisis (the protagonist’s fatal illness) explicitly foregrounds what commonplace rhythms might conceal, namely, attachments to both places and people that are more and more deterritorialized in the contemporary age of global connectedness. The author here, interestingly, emphasizes the wrongness of any human claim over land as it equally belongs to all the beings living on the planet. Thus, the whole idea of land ownership and redistribution, closely associated with colonial, neocolonial, and postcolonial pursuits, is invalidated here. Globalization has led to economic growth and technological progress around the world, but it has also given rise to certain major environmental inconsistencies, especially in the developing nations. Thus, the paper examines the South African landscape as explored in Get a Life where the author propagates an understanding of nature as both a physical entity and a cultural construct, thereby debunking the notion of hierarchical human dominance.


South Africa, in the present times, is surrounded by diverse concerns linked to environmental questions that are essentially anthropocentric. The new globalized culture in the country offers shifts in social, economic, and environmental concerns in the twenty-first century. The culture of green politics in South Africa changed through the 1990s. The apartheid regime practiced the policy of conservation in ecological matters, but with the political transition, the new state is focusing on a postcolonial awareness of environment which is “people-centered.” The intersections between ecology and human society, in the twenty-first century, are greatly determined by the material ambitions of the landowning classes and uneven global urban developments across the planet.