Several themes can be derived from Bessie Head?s, ?The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses?. Possibly, the most apparent, prefabricated theme is strength in numbers; however, the setting, time period, motivations, underlying political implications, and the characters imply more. The theme becomes easily describable as profitable collusion.
?The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses? takes place in1974, at a prison in Africa, more specifically, South Africa. This particular setting is important to the atmosphere of the story for several reasons. South Africa, during 1974, was a place and time of political injustice, decolonization, reverse racism, and distorted leadership through tribalism. Tension among Africa?s inhabitants was extreme, and Head?s writing reflects it.
Reverse racism is essential for creating tension and explaining the aggression created from within one race. Reverse racism is racial prejudice directed at others of the same nationality, culture, or society. The main character, Brille, is a black political prisoner. Brille?s complications and resolutions come from a black warder, Jacobus Stephanus Hannetjie, and later in the story Brille complicates Hannetjie?s situation. Head sets the atmosphere when Hannetjie is introduced. Head explains, ?No black warder should be in charge of political
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