André Brink’s Sense of Anticlimax Over the New Dispensation in Modern-Day South Africa: An Examination of the Rights of Desire
Mamadou Abdou Babou Ngom, Ph.D.

This paper sets out to analyze, through André Brink’s The Rights of Desire, white South Africans’ resentment over the new dispensation in South Africa. Even though the race-based ideology of apartheid was devised and implemented by people of Afrikaner extraction, there were many amongst white South Africans who were relentless in their scathing condemnation of the immorality of institutionalized racism. André Philipus Brink, Nadine Gordimer, J. M. Coetzee and Breyten Breyten Bach, to name but a few, were white liberals who were conspicuous by their antiapartheid stance. They used, indeed, the vehicle of literature to bring to light the multifaceted horrors of racial oppression in South Africa and, accordingly, went a long way towards raising international awareness about the need to bring it to an end. White liberals’ rejection of the sanctimoniousness of apartheid was driven by their steadfast espousal of the universality of human dignity and freedom. Understandably, with the demise of apartheid, those voices of conscience cum other like-minded people felt that South Africa was set fair to become a democratic society in which racial determinism would no longer be a key feature in government policies. Rather, the rescission of institutionalized racism and its attendant heralding of democracy have left many a white South African with an overwhelming anticlimactic sense, which shines through the woes of Brink’s lead character in The Rights of Desire, Ruben Olivier.

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