Hunger, Oranges and Integrity

In the unfolding of the Beverley Naidoo classic, Journey to Joburg, the main character, Naledi and her little brother Tiro stumble upon an orange farm on their difficult journey to find their mother.

When she tries to take some of the oranges, a young black Tswana-speaking boy, who works on the farm, calls her a thief. Although he later became their ally, Naledi snaps back, “We’re not thieves, we’ve been walking whole day and we are hungry.”

Is it acceptable to steal if you are hungry? Is it even necessary to ask the question? Who worries about right or wrong when you are hungry? Under which circumstances is it legitimate to steal?

These are tough questions that the serious reader must wrestle with. Or are they not serious questions at all?


5 thoughts on “Hunger, Oranges and Integrity

  1. I think it is Ok to lie if you are in a tight spot. But it have to be areally tight spot. I think being hungry is a really tight spot.

  2. First of all it is not acceptable to steal but Naledi and her brother are trying to stay alive to get to Johannesburg to give their mother some terrible news about their sister. The only way to stay alive is by stealing some of the farm’s oranges. I think they are very courageous because not anyone gets away with stealing.

  3. I think that although you are hungry, you should not forget your manners. After all there will be someone to help you. So, stealing to me is not acceptable. It is indeed a crime.

    When you really don’t have any energy to complete your daily tasks and you are not fortunate enough to buy food, maybe then you should inform someone who you can trust about the crime you are about to commit.

  4. I do not think it is acceptable to steal. It is a crime and there are always someone else who is suffering from you action. Maybe that person puts a big value in the things you are taking from them.

    Even if you are hungry, I do not thinks it is acceptable to steal. Everyone needs food and if you take something, the victim may not get food either. In this case, Naledi and Tiro are stealing from a farmer and maybe some less oranges do not make any different. Still, in the long run, he may not has anyone left.

    For me, Naledis and Tiros actions with the orange are not a big problem, maybe because they need to eat to survive, the farmers seams to survive this and it is just happening ones. But still, stealing is a crime and I do not believe in it.

  5. I do not think it is OK to steal because the person you steal from probaly needs the thing and might will suffer. But in this case I think it didn’t make a different because I don’t think the farmer will notice if they took a few oranges cause he had so many.

    You could say I think it could be OK if the person you steal from has the thing in abundance, do not need it all and do not chair with anyone else, like the farmer.

    And even if I think the children did wrong (cause it is still a crime even if the person don’t need the thing) I think I had done the same thing if if it happened to me.

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