Literacy Analysis: Mark Mathabanes Kaffir Boy - Essay Example

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An essay "Literacy Analysis: Mark Mathabane’s “Kaffir Boy" attempts to prove, through an analysis of “Kaffir Boy” that through positive or negative instances and actions, the person and the society can ultimately influence each other towards betterment and progress…
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Literacy Analysis: Mark Mathabanes Kaffir Boy
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Download file to see previous pages As much as man is molded by the things around him, these things may not necessarily be good and pure. Indeed, sometimes, society can be the evilest nemesis for an individual trying to find himself in the world. This evil alone is seen in the novel’s title: Kaffir Boy. The word Kaffir is derived from the Arabic kāfir, meaning “infidel” (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated n.p.). It is a derogatory term assigned to blacks and was most commonly used by the whites in South Africa to disparage black residents. The presence and the use of such a term show the inequalities that the society, as something that is formed by a collection of individuals, breeds. Although numerous sociologists promote such inequalities, even suggesting that conflicts are necessary for societal functions, the different strata existing in the apartheid world show how society can be so brutal. This brutality is in fact supported by two important aspects of society: law and culture (tribalism). The law involves the different rules, norms, and regulations that dictated how a man should behave and act. In Mark’s childhood years, laws were enforced by the Peri-Urban, a group of abusive, sadistic, and unorganized policemen who supposedly enforce law and order. According to Mark, the Peri-Urban functioned through raids to “’clean up’ the neighborhood” (1.11). The rules and the norms set by dominant members of the society, especially apartheid, make society a formidable force that can destroy the individual.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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