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Sometimes changes in life can be so difficult for people to adapt to their new environment. In most cases people will find a way to cope to their new existence. However, some people will be unwilling to accept a new change. Forced immigration from the city to a rural place is a good example of such a drastic change. When people are forced to leave their home to an unknown place, their identities can change forever. In the novel July’s People written by Nadine Gordimer portrays the story of a white middle-class family who are forced to moved out from their home because of the overthrow of the Apartheid white government by black people. The only place where they will be safe is at the village of their black servant July. In the village, they must find a way to survive and adapt to their new environment. One of the most important developments in thenovel is how the changing of economic and political structure of apartheid affect the characters in different ways. The character who stand out and struggles more to accept the new environment is Maureen, a wife of Bam and mother of three children.Maureen who is well accustomed to the privileges of the apartheid world is unwilling to cope with her new reality; as a result, Maureen’s character slowly transforms to an unhappy character. These political and economic changes affect Maureen sense of self because she loses her privileges as a white woman, her role as a mother and wife diminish, and the reversal in power with her servant July makes her feel devastated and desperate to escape.        Maureen Smales is portrayed as the protagonist and as thecharacter who expresses a massive displacement and role changethroughout the whole novel. Maureen grew up in an environment where she had a comfortable and privilege life.Before the Smales are forced to move out from Johannesburg and take refuge with July, they were a middle-class family and they were having a quality life. They owned “A seven-roomed house and a swimming pool” (Gordimer, 25). Also, they could afford to pay for servants and they had their “growing savingsand investments” (Gordimer, 8) and many other privileges that black people could not have at that time. On the contrary, in July’s village they must let go of their middle-class expectations of luxuries, comfort, privacy, and possessions. It is at July’s home that the Smales realize the privilege they once had is being banished. Also, all the necessities such as food, clean water, toilet paper, clean clothes, and many more, are now so essential in their new home. Ali Erritouni agrees with this when he mentions “Their new life is a far cry from and is starkly contrasted to the sumptuous life they have led before the war…” (69). This shows how their life have changed drastically, especially for Maureen because she cannot cope with the new changes. Maureen does not longer have the privilege as a white woman, as a result, she finds herself trapped in a world without an exit.      Maureen’s role changes affect her husband Bam and her children because her role as a mother and wife is slowly diminishing. Surviving in a rural community is not only affecting Bam and Maureen, but also their relationship. For example, they argue, confront each other, and they ignore their presence around the hut.  Even the desire for sexual intimacy is deteriorated their relationship. Gordimer mentions, “The lack of privacy killed the desire; if there had been any to feel. But the preoccupation with daily survival…probably had crowded that out anyway” (Gordimer 79).  Although, Gordimer provides us with flashbacks of a very happy marriage, this new environment is killing their relationship. Primarily, the reason for their changed relationship is the destitution of their possessions as well as the lack of privacy, communication, comprehension, and mutual respect. Furthermore, Maureen’s sense of motherhood also diminishes because the children adapt quickly to their new home, but also because they participate in Bam’s daily activities. Because of her discontent of her current position, Maureen is unsuccessful to provide care and love to her family.  Hence, Maureen notices that she does not fulfill her expectations as a mother according to the norms of the village because she is a white woman. For instance, in July’s village women must do housework such as carrying the wood and water, wash clothes, cook food for the families and many other tasks.  When Maureen communicates her desire to help the other women in the fields to July, he does not agree with the idea. The reason can be explained by the fact that July considers that these tasks should be performed by the women in the village (Gordimer 96). Yet, Maureen is jealous of the black women who have tasks to perform because she feels useless in the village. Furthermore,Maureen feels devastated in a place that give her no meaningful status to be part of the happiness of her family because she feels she does not belong in that community.        The first changes that we can see in Maureen is that the roles reversed with July make her feel confused and uncomfortable; as a result, this causes her limited liberal views to emerge. During Apartheid Maureen claimed to be a liberalwoman because she always treated July well and with respect. In addition, Bam and Maureen “joined political parties and contact groups in willingness to slough privilege” (Gordimer 8).However, Maureen liberal views are questioned when she moves to July’s village. For Instance, she used to give material things to July, which make her seems so generous; however, she only did this when the things were old, ugly or had no value (Gordimer, 59). In July’s village, Maureen’s racism against blacks shows upbecause the laws are not in her favor anymore. Another example that shows Maureen’s true self is the argument about the Bakkie. Erritouni shows this when he says, “The reaction to his assertive use of the car betrays the limitations of their liberalism” (71). In the city, when July was powerless and obedient, the Smales did not approve Apartheid. As soon as July takes their property, they feel offended. In addition, Maureen resents July because he took the car’s keys without permission, but Maureen fails to realize that the roles have changed, and now July has the power. Even though, she is upset that July took the car’s keys she cannot do anything because they rely completely on July. Also, thepolitical system that once was benefiting them is now fallingapart. To prove his power over Maureen July reminds her that”In your house, if something it’s getting lost it’s me who must know… All your thing is there, it’s me I’ve got the keys, always it’s me” (Gordimer, 69). July continues, “Your boy who work for you. There in town you are trusting your boy for fifteen years…” (Gordimer 69). This annoys Maureen because July have never talked to her like and July reminds her that ‘back there’ they trusted him with everything. This shows that Maureen does not longer have control over him; instead, the power has disintegrated.            Maureen is struggling with July, as she realizes July is becoming more independent and less submissive. During one occasion, she asks her son to go to tell July to come to the hut: “Go and say I want to see him” (Gordimer, 73). July refuses to obey Maureen, but end up going after so many attempts from Maureen. This shows how July is now in charge of the power and this behavior irritate Maureen. Also, this demonstrate the new roles of power between July and Maureen. As Maureen feels how July is winning the power, she feels vulnerable. The only way she tries to win an argument is by threatening him to tell his wife about the affair he had in the city with Ellen. Maureen believes that somehow, she could gain back her control by provoking him. For example, in a conversation Maureen askshim “What is happening to Ellen? Your wife and your children were here, and all those years Ellen was with you” (Gordimer 72). This conversation makes July upset and he walks away with the car keys (Gordimer 63).  Maureen fails to negotiate with July; instead, July realizes that the white family are completely depending on him and the Smales are now July’s people. It is clear from the book that Maureen is a hypocrite because she has always stated herself as liberal; however, her actions and attitudes in the new village say the contrary. Furthermore, in the end of the novel Maureen runs after a helicopter with the hope of escaping from the current situation that she cannot deal with anymore. This shows that Maureen grew up in a completely different scenario where the whites are the masters, and black the servants, but things end up completely opposite. Erritounisays “They resist redistribution of wealth, seemingly obvious to the fact that, before the revolution, the racial laws of apartheid tipped the economic balance in their favor” (71). As Maureen realizes the laws are not in their favor, she feels devastated, thus, she runs away in search of a new future, leaving her children and her husband in the village.               

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