In “No Witchcraft for Sale,” a native African named Gideon was a servant for a European family, the Foursquare. The Foursquare had a son named Teddy; Teddy and Gideon were great friends. Doris writes “… He would lift Teddy on his shoulders… ” (Lessening 1), this indirectly implies that Gideon was like a father to Teddy. Gideon loved Teddy as he loved his own son. Although Gideon loved the Foursquare and Teddy, they could not reciprocate his love for them-maybe because Gideon was an African servant-instead they only raised his ages at the end of the month as stated when Doris writes “…
Mrs.. Fraud felt a warm impulse toward her cook, and at the end of the month she raised his wages” (Lessening 1). Although the slaves were freed, the native Africans were still subjugated, this is clearly shown in the story when Gideon says, “… One will grow up to be a baas and one will be a servant” (Lessening 1). This statement alone shows the sterility of the white culture and the never changing bond of servant and master.
In the text, it is evident that the white culture was still dominant to the native Africans. … He is only a black boy… ” (Lessening 1), Teddy is talking to Gideon after he scared a boy with his scooter telling him to get out of the way. This little boy is actually Godson’s son. Teddy feels that his is more powerful and is dominant over this little boy because the boy is black. Lessening never gave this boy a name because she is trying to get the point across that the native Africans were not heard at the time.
She is trying to say that because the native Africans were the dominated, he was not important enough to be even a name. Another important message that Lessening is trying to convey is the white culture is very sterile. “… If he came into the kitchen to ask for something, it was in the way a white man uses toward a servant, expecting to be obeyed” (Lessening 2), Lessening conveys the message perfectly in this quote, because it hides that white men will have children and they will be raised to be exactly like their fathers.
The white culture will never change because the children will be raised exactly like their fathers ere, always having a hatred for the native Africans. “He was rude and stubborn” (Lessening 3). The doctors from the city and the Foursquare thought that Gideon was being stubborn because he would not give up the root which had cured Teddy’s eyes. They did not understand Gideon did not want to give up the root because it was an African secret, a tradition. The Foursquare called him a “… Ignorant, injustice and Subjugation By Longfellow them the name of the root!
When the doctors and scientists came, they said giving hem the root would benefit everyone, white black, adults and children, but that would not be the case if Gideon did give them the root. The cure would only be given to the Europeans, Gideon knew this. Through the many examples of subjugation and racial inequality in this text, it is now clear that the colonized native Africans were still dominated by the Imperial Europeans. The Africans were not clearly understood during this time, and the Europeans did not try to understand them, only made assumptions about who the native Africans really were.