Alienation In The Kaffir Boy

Improved Essays
Register to read the introduction… It completely destructed them as well as every other black family. The rules of the apartheid that determined where people lived meant that most black families did not live together. Wives and children lived on the reserves, while the men lived in the cities. Mark's family all lives together through it all. This is due to his mother's hard work. Even though she is working as hard as she is, her children do not see it because it is covered up by the projection of his father's anger and lack of food. All the children see is the struggle, rather than the amount of hard work their mother is putting in, in order to keep them together and alive.
As much as they try, neither his mother nor his father and provide for the family. Thus, creating relationships of only misfortune. Despite their back breaking labor, men in the cities were often unable to provide sufficiently for their families back on the reserves. Even families that were together, like Mark's, were often together illegally. The apartheid system created such rage that it created violence. Mark's father is a prime example. Worked to the bone, unable to even properly feed or clothe his family, and living under constant threat of arrest, Papa becomes unbearably mean. Yet Mark's family does manage to stay together.
All of these aspects create the relationships between the government and the black people as well as the relationships between the people of Mark's family. The government and the lack's people's relationship revolves around fear. It is charged by the blacks being afraid of the whites. Without this kind of relationships the apartheid will not be as powerful. It takes the people to create power for the government. The relationship between the government and the people affect the relationship in each home of the people. Mark's at home relationship with his family is caused by the way the government …show more content…
They routinely experience extreme hunger, malnutrition, and disease. But it isn't just the hunger and starvation that afflict them. Life under apartheid is designed to make people suffer in other ways: they are dominated by feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and inferiority. We see how suffering affects individuals when Mark decides to leave the gangster life behind and focus on school. His mother tells him that all young black men growing up in the ghettoes have to make the important choice to be a tsotsi (a gangster) or not to be a tsotsi. Mark has chosen a non-violent path, but we learn that his choice is rare. Other young people chose to respond to their suffering by boycotting the schools, or joining the resistance. Mark's father responds to his suffering by oppressing his family. On the one hand, constant suffering was a strategy on the part of apartheid officials to keep Africans docile and needy, but it ultimately backfired.
The systematic oppression that blacks experience under apartheid South Africa causes many of them to hate all whites. Mark starts out from this position as well, frustrated with the way he's treated. But his anger and hate dissipate as he meets whites who treat him as a friend and an equal. Ultimately, Mark is able to leave the destructive emotion behind him. His family and friends are not always so lucky. The hatred, rage, and anger that many blacks feel fuels the violence that dominates township life.
Race was the most important aspect of individual identity in apartheid South Africa. It determined where you lived, who you married, and what kinds of education, job, and housing was available to you. Whites were the privileged elite, with access to the best education, lucrative jobs, and the ability to employ black servants at non-living wages. On the other hand, blacks were systematically oppressed at every turn; their lives were controlled by an

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    In comparison as today’s time period, we are living in a world rich of prejudice and hatred taking away people’s freedom and joy. People are treated with lots of inequalities for not being born in the United States or being colored people, however they rely on people who migrates from other countries to raise up industries and fasten up work and products which we use to survive. In addition, in many cases people who hates on others needs them the most, back then in South Africa they hated and demanded segregation as a tactic to keep both races apart from each other or their children, but they still needed their help because they could do the work faster and better than anyone…

    • 1697 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Mother to Mother, SindiWe explains how the town of Guguletu is filled with crime. It got to the point where killing someone from their township was common and no one gave a care in the world. Much of this was due to how poor the town was. White people were the ones who mostly had money, the average black South African barely had enough to fend for their family. Guguletu was a town made up of black South Africans, who were forced out of their previous town to live in “sad small houses crowned with gray and flat unsmiling roofs… oppressed by all that surrounds them”(Magona 27).…

    • 1523 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    What happens when you isolate an animal? It becomes anti-social and becomes agitated when you put it in contact with others. Society gave the boys in Staples community more reason to live up to that stereotype of being a tough guy. “Unfortunately, poor and powerless young men seem to take all this nonsense literally. As a boy, I saw countless tough guys locked away; I have since buried several, too.…

    • 751 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They had many more obstacles than me because of their poverty and they did not have their parents for support. Additionally, they were black in America and I definitely understood those issues. Jesmyn Ward said in Melissa Block's article Writing Mississippi that she disliked that fact that she had to "bear up under the weight of the history of this place, of the history of slavery and Jim Crow and sharecropping, the history of [Mississippi]." The world was a brutal place for a black man and having people who had wisdom and experience to pass down were essential. Joshua and Christophe were stripped of that.…

    • 1365 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    One of the biggest issue Coates focuses on in his article, is how mass incarceration causes great damage to the Black community. According to Coates, the issues of poverty can be traced back to the matriarchal society in the African American community. Coates argues this is a problem because children are growing up without a father figure in their life, and their single mothers are too busy at work earning money to support their families causing them to spend less and less quality time with their children. Children are influenced by daily dynamics which they often seek from their parents. Children that are raised in a toxic environment where there is a lack of a father figure and/or absence of a strong familial unit, are often seen following their parents footsteps.…

    • 966 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Instead of being one community, we are divided simply because we fear the loss of power. Black bodies are oppressed, threatened by the police in a country that stands for freedom. The answer as to why this occurs is power. People in America neglect to notice how black people are being exploited. Coates hopes to educate black children like his son about the world they live in and how they must deal with it as an African American person.…

    • 973 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Oppression In Native Son

    • 1710 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The overbearing societal oppression has glaring negative effects on Bigger’s sense of self due to the repression of ego promoted by the white majority. The conditions in which African Americans are forced to live is unreasonably scarce in good education, job security, and affordable housing. This deplorable environment is systematically maintained through a cycle of whites withholding opportunities for betterment from blacks and taking advantage of their positions of power to force inescapable poverty upon them. However, poor lifestyles are not the only thing being manipulated by whites. Through the perpetuation of black stereotypes, whites deny African Americans their individuality in the eyes of society.…

    • 1710 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The film made me feel increasingly sad that African Americans involved with this period of time had to go through countless acts of violence for no reason. Not being granted the basic values of life that everyone deserves makes you realize how much an individual has today compared to what they had in the past when slavery was legal. It inspired me even more to reach out to those that are still racist and help get the point across that it’s not ok to discriminate. The way white people decided to live their lives in the past offended me and made me wonder how someone would be ok in the wrong doing that would take place. How someone would be a part and even watch these beatings take place on a daily basis like it is morally right.…

    • 789 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Okonkwo wanted to be completely different from his father. This brings great effort, motivation and anger, and eventually it leads to crisis and destruction within his culture. Okonkwo has a constant fear of being like his father, this acts as a great motivator but affects himself within the community both positively and negatively. Okonkwo, in Things Fall Apart, represents the worst part of tribal life according to what the tribe values. He does immoral things because he always remembers his father's slothfulness.…

    • 714 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    ‘Listen, nigger,’ he said to me, ‘my ass is tough and quarters is scarce’” (Wright 229). Richard could not fathom what he had seen and how Shorty allowed the white man to degrade him in such a way. The experience was never spoken of again, but one can assume that Richard learned of how people deal with racism differently and also that some white people would even pay to put blacks at a lower level than them. Experiences such as these teach Richard about the world around him and the cruel ideals within…

    • 1468 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays