“Crackling Day” by Peter Abrahams is set in South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century. In the country at this time, the blacks and the whites were separated. They had different elevators in buildings, different beaches, buses, and shops. Interracial relations, and marriages were illegal. The whites owned much of the land, in fact 80% of it. They owned the mines, and the cities. The story is about 2 boys who travel all day to a farm to collect their weekly amount of crackling for their families.
The story is set in the country near a town called Elsburg.
This short story shows us how the blacks treated the whites, and how the blacks had to treat the whites. The story is called “Crackling Day” because it starts with two boys, Andries and Lee who are making ‘the long trek to Elsburg siding for the square of pig’s rind that passed for our daily meat’.
The boys had to collect a double amount of cow dung the day before, so that they could get the crackling. This shows that the black people were poor, as they had to perform the jobs that the white people did not want to do, such as collect cow dung, just to get some pig rind.
This was there daily meat and it was all they could afford. The quotation, “I’ll skin you if you lose the money! ” shows that they did not have a lot of money.
The fact that they had little money can also been seen in the fact that they did not have clothes that protected them from the cold. “The cold went through my shirt and shorts; my skin went pimply and chilled; my fingers went numb and began to ache”. It can also been seen that they could not afford shoes as it says, “The cold was not so terrible on bear feet if one did not keep still. ” It can also be seen in, “… y feet felt like frozen lumps that did not belong to me… ” In the story is says, “They teach them to go for us.
Never get caught by one. My old man’s got a hole in his bottom where a Boer dog got him. ” They believed that white people trained their dogs to attack black people. This may not be true though. When the two boys are about to fight two white men came down the path and they ended their fight. This shows that they may have been intimidated them. When the two boys get to Elsburg, they have to queue for their crackling. The man who sells it to them is white.