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J.A. McPherson and G.G. Marquez Novel’s: Urgent Social Issues Essay

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Updated: Dec 13th, 2021

Introduction

Some questions that continually arise in the process of interaction between society and various social groups are discussed as important from the formation of the state system to the present day. This issue is perfectly demonstrated in the well-known novellas “A Solo Song: For Doc” written by James Alan McPherson and “No One Writes to the Colonel” written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Although “A Solo Song: For Doc” and “No One Writes to the Colonel” are not united by a common plot, these novellas are similar in terms of discussing such themes as social unfairness, opposition to the system, and human disparity.

The theme of social unfairness is disclosed in these stories with reference to society’s unjust attitude towards the main characters. McPherson writes about the life story of the black waiter named Doc (Beavers 107). According to the author, Doc tries to make the reader understand that even if a person is young, ambitious, and full of great plans to improve this or that enterprise, there is always “a big black book” that would put him where he belongs (McPherson 48). The main character in “No One Writes to the Colonel”, on the contrary, humbly waits for his pension, “promised by the government more than 15 years ago” (Ortega 26). The black waiter Doc and the Colonel are forced to live in a cruel world and adapt to the dominant system.

For the same reason both authors emphasize the problem of the struggle against the social system. Being a young man, Doc strongly believed in the state’s ideals. Then, having realized the injustice of the complex social structure, the black waiter was entirely disillusioned. (Beavers 111). The internal rising against the system performed by the Colonel is more active. Marquez writes that the main character is not just waiting for the promised retirement. He also engages in illegal activities: keeps his dead son’s rooster, participates in the cockfights hoping to get some money, and sends illegal leaflets with summaries of recent events to the son’s friends (Marquez 35). In fact, the main characters have to survive in the real world face to face with their own ideas about the world. The only difference is that Doc was disappointed in life, whereas the Colonel lives in hope.

An urgent issue of social disparity then and now

Additionally, the authors reveal the world of social disparity and racial prejudices. McPherson identifies “a big, thick black book, given by the Commissary” with all Afro-Americans oppressed by the law (Beavers 112). The Marquez’s Colonel and his wife, suffering from a lack of money and starvation, are trying to hide their distressful situation from the neighbors: they cook stones in a pot instead of food (75). This fact indicates their fear of being convicted of poverty. Currently, the problem of racial and social inequality still remains, especially in Third World countries. The West promotes the laws to protect the rights of all people without exception. However, there are still a lot of disadvantaged groups of people in the world.

Conclusion

Summing up, McPherson and Marquez reflected the social realm with all its disadvantages in their works. However, the authors constructed the book’s universe based on the real world’s model. Consequently, it can be a good motivation to consider the urgent issues mentioned above and change the situation for the better.

Works Cited

Beavers, Herman. Wrestling Angels into Song: The Fictions of Ernest J. Gaines and James Alan McPherson. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. No One Writes to the Colonel. Penguin UK, 2014.

McPherson, James Alan. Hue and Cry: Short Stories. Fawcett Crest, 1970.

Ortega, Julio. Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the Powers of Fiction. University of Texas Press, 2014.

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IvyPanda. "J.A. McPherson and G.G. Marquez Novel's: Urgent Social Issues." December 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ja-mcpherson-and-gg-marquez-novels-urgent-social-issues/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "J.A. McPherson and G.G. Marquez Novel's: Urgent Social Issues." December 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ja-mcpherson-and-gg-marquez-novels-urgent-social-issues/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'J.A. McPherson and G.G. Marquez Novel's: Urgent Social Issues'. 13 December.

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