Tsotsi Sympathy Essay

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To what extent does fugard encourage us to feel sympathy for Tsotsi? We lose any sympathy for Tsotsi during the scene in which Gumboot is killed. Very cruel and sadistic side to his character shown: * ‘Whispered an obscene reference to his mother’ ‘a moment of hate…disfigured the face in death’. Cruel because people’s faces in death are supposed to be serene and peaceful but Gumboot has not been granted this. * ‘Smiled at the growing bewilderment…’ Heartless and sadistic, taking pleasure in the other man’s fear. Particularly because Gumboot is such a warm and likeable character, (‘he smiled…his smile was white as light’) * Gumboot’s defencelessness and innocence in contrast to the gang’s brutal and well-planned attack ‘Butcher knew with unfailing accuracy the position of the heart’ The speed and meticulous accuracy with which the attack is carried out is quite disturbing. Similar to when Boston is attacked: * ‘Tsotsi went to work on him…using everything he had learnt about pain’ Tsotsi changes – this helps the reader gain sympathy for him He feels pity for Morris Tshabalala - This act of kindness is in contrast with the beginning of the film, when Tsotsi killed Gumboot on the train, showing little emotion, let alone remorse. This pity shows us that Tsotsi is showing empathy and making a change to a more decent human being. We sympathise for him as he is becoming more aware of how others may feel and the impact of his actions. He no longer wants to simply destroy. His transition from a ruthless thug to an understanding person is smooth therefore the reader is swayed by his changed personality. They can, for once, let aside all the crimes he has committed, and dig deeper to find Tsotsi’s true identity. Because the reader wishes for him to change throughout this book, a sense of relief resides in their hearts when they finally see
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