Blood, race and the construction of 'the coloured' in Sarah Gertrude Millin's God's stepchildren
In this paper I attempt to look critically at the literary construction of one particular 'race', namely the 'Coloureds', in Sarah Gertrude Millin's God's Stepchildren. To this end, the paper draws on the historical background of Millin, and investigates the way in which Millin has consciously and strategically formed, as it were, a 'unique' Coloured identity. Furthermore, the paper explores the proximity or tension between author and narrator in the novel. This tension, I suggest, emerges in response to various pressures in the novel which in turn are based upon the author's social, political and economic background. Evidence to this effect is derived from Millin's biography and other sources. What emerges from the paper is that the concepts 'race' and 'Coloured', as they are employed in this novel, are equally elusive. In attempting to piece together a 'race', the novel communicates Millin's aversion to miscegenation, and discloses characteristics of her 'self'. Ironically, I conclude, she falls prey to the same kinds of prejudices that she projects onto her literary subjects.