Kaffir Boy Essay

673 words - 3 pages

In the autobiography Kaffir Boy, Mark Mathabane, a black boy, describes his life during the Apartheid- a system of racial segregation in South Africa which begun in the year 1948 to the year1994- and how he became an exception by creating his own identity through his determination and intelligence. By using his talents in tennis and by taking advantage of his education, Mark was able to create a new life in America and escape the ghastly Apartheid which consumed his childhood. In the course of Mark’s childhood, he constantly underwent an internal struggle regarding his life, his opinions, and his thoughts about how he was going to transition from a life of constant hardship and struggle to one of ease and equality. Mark was able to find opportunities and interests which he found as an “escape” from the chaotic and unjust outside world from the help of his mother and grandmother. Such opportunities included sports, reading, and learning. Not only did these opportunities act as an “escape” for Mark and help keep him out of trouble, but they also enabled him to connect to the white community.
From the start of the novel, one could infer that Mark was a self-driven and intelligent boy, both off the books and on, who had his own opinions and carried with him a lot of self motivation and pride. Instead of giving up himself and his pride, or giving in to the highly discriminatory government that he lived in, Mark would rather give up his right for food and shelter. He proved these qualities in himself when he said, “I was a fool all right, but I was a fool of my own free will. I was not prepared to prostitute myself for food or money. I would rather have died than do that….” and, “Throughout all the years that I lived in South Africa, people were to call me a fool for refusing to live life the way they did and by doing...

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