Sympathy, Hospitality and Love in Nadine Gordimer’s The Pick Up

Abstract

This paper sets out to discuss the extent to which the trinity of sympathy, hospitality and love are interwoven in Nadine Gordimer’s The Pick Up. To be sure, this postliberation novel is a stunning tribute to what Arthur Schopenhauer calls “loving-kindness” which encompasses respect for ‘otherness’ and rejection of intolerance in any shape or form. As a one-time antiapartheid activist driven by her unflinching belief in deep-dyed liberal values, Nadine Gordimer reminds us through the casting of her lead characters, to wit Julie and Abdu, that human action must always be tinged with a measure of compassion and acceptance of diversity, or else the ravages of egoism and absence of empathy will doom us. This powerful work of fiction, indeed, teaches us that it is only through the steady exercise of compassion that one can carry out one’s responsibility for the ‘other’

Keywords: Hospitality, Liberalism, Love, Otherness, Sympathy

Unique Article ID: EJELLS-118

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