Written Commentary on Extrac 'Kaffir Boy'

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Written Commentary: Kaffir Boy In this excerpt from Kaffir Boy, the author of this autobiography, Mark Mathabane, uses diction and syntax to set the theme of Apartheid in South Africa, in the mid and late 20th Century, as well as to show the perspective of a young boy fighting for his future, while growing up in a world ruled racial oppression. The author begins by introducing the reader to a typical government sign that was set surrounding the ghettos all throughout South Africa. The sign goes on about how anyone who enters the Bantu, “urban areas” the government claims, is marking themselves as a criminal who can be prosecuted. The fact that the sign reads “WARNING” as a title, already inspiring fear and concern in the readers of the sign, as if they should be prepared to even continue reading. The fact that it’s all capitalized letters also brings awareness that the sign should be taken seriously as entering the Bantu alone is a crime itself. Yet, the fact that the sign is even set there in the first place to warn the people living outside of the ghettos that going in them is dangerous and a crime, creates an impact on the white South African people that were not even allowed to know what was beyond that sign. There is nothing remarkable about the syntax of the sing, since after all, it’s a government notice. However the use of the word ‘Bantu’, the proper term of referring to an urban area of tribal people in their native language, creates a contrast with all the western language in the rest of sign, making a contrast between how white ‘South Afrikaners’ had power in the country as opposed to the blacks who were considered strangers in their own their country. Mathabane then mentions the ‘black world’. The use of this rather distinctive term is to show the reader that there is indeed a great difference between the whites and the blacks, not only as

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