Symbolism In Kaffir Boy, By Mark Mathabane

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Kaffir Boy is a book written by Mark Mathabane. This book is about the author’s autobiographical story, and how he escape from apartheid in South Africa. The main historical issue is apartheid which is a political system created by white government in South Africa in 1948. This word literally means separation. The blacks and whites cannot live together. Whites are able to live on a better land, which is spacious, and filled with rich resources. But black people have to live on a crowded and poor land. Another mean issue is the Pass Law, which means every black have to own a passbook as a form of identification. If anyone who does not own the passbook is spotted by the police, they will be arrested. This passbook is mentioned through the entire …show more content…
It was one of the apartheid location created by white government. Only the blacks, Indians, and people who do not have white skin reside in this location. They are basically being segregated according to race. There are 23 avenues in this area, and the living conditions are deteriorating as the population increases. Indians live in First Avenue, Coloreds live in second and third avenues, and blacks live in the rest of the avenues. The avenue where blacks are living in is as poor as church mice (4). “In South Africa there’s a saying that to be black is to be at the end of the line when anything of significance is to be had” (4). As we can see through this quotes, black Africans has the lowest level in their society. Nobody cares about them except for themselves. “As a result, more than 90 percent of white South Africans go through a life time without seeing firsthand the inhuman conditions under which blacks have to survive” (3). This quote is from beginning of the book and it clearly …show more content…
For example, even in the apartheid system, black and white are separated, and blacks are less important than whites. The black South African are still under the control of government. However in Mathabane’s story, in his early life, it seems that the policemen controls everywhere the black lives. All blacks are afraid of police as they are afraid of getting arrested. This is not what apartheid system is for. Police should not be the one controlling the blacks’ life. “‘Nothing, nkosi,’ my father said slowly running his right hand though his hanky hair. ‘Not a cent. I have no job. I just applied for a permit to look for a job yesterday’”. Mathabane also talked about that when his father got arrested. The policeman ask them for bribes and if Mathabane comply, they will release his father. In this situation, we can see that apartheid system is not well organized. I think that the government gave too much power to the policeman. In apartheid system, every blacks must have a pass. Even if the police breaks the law, no one will care because it is the blacks that are living in the poor area. Therefore, blacks can only suffer in silence as the police gets full control over the blacks who live in the

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