From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Age of Iron Race Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

I, a white. When I think of the whites, what do I see? I see a herd of sheep (not a flock: a herd) milling around on a dusty plain under the baking sun. I hear a drumming of hooves, a confusion of sound that resolves itself, when the ear grows attuned, into the same bleating call in a thousand different inflections: "I!" "I!" "I!" And, cruising among them, bumping them aside with their bristling flanks, lumbering, saw-toothed, red-eyed, the savage, unreconstructed old boars grunting "Death!" "Death!" Though it does me no good, I flinch from the white touch as much as he does; would even flinch from the old white woman who pats his hand if she were not I. (2.327)

After witnessing some of the horrible ways in which white South Africans treat black South Africans, Mrs. Curren starts to feel guilty about her own race.

Quote #8

"Put this over your head," said Mr. Thabane, offering the plastic raincoat.

"Nonsense," I said, "I don't mind a little rain."

"Still, hold it over you," he insisted. I understood. (3.74-76)

Mr. Thabane isn't trying to protect Mrs. Curren from the rain; he's trying to shield her because it's dangerous to be a white woman in an area where whites are so deeply hated.

Quote #9

"I have not seen black people in their death before, Mr. Vercueil. They are dying all the time, I know, but always somewhere else. The people I have seen die have been white and have died in bed, growing rather dry and light there, rather papery, rather airy." (3.324)

Mrs. Curren starts to understand a huge discrepancy between the lives that whites in South Africa lead and the lives that blacks are forced into. She realizes that people of her race aren't subjected to the same kinds of violent deaths, which is really eye opening for her.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...