Mathabane And His Father's Education

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1. Twice in the story education is referred to as "a white man 's education." What do you suppose is meant by this term and what is the impact the term has on the story (think about characters)? I think “a white man’s education” could mean two things. It could mean something that is highly desired to get ahead in life. “It is the only key that can do that, and only those who seek it earnestly and perseveringly will get anywhere in the white man’s world” (Mathabane 429). His mother seemed to believe this and desired an education for him as she believed that he would not break the cycle of poverty and abuse they were living in without it. On the other hand, it could also mean something that held the black South Africans back. His father believed this and did not want Mathabane to be educated. “He refused to go to school because his father led him to believe that an education was a tool through which white people were going to take things away from, like they did black people in the old days” (Mathabane 429). Since his father believed this, he was willing to abuse his wife and son so that his son would not attend school.

2. What challenges does the narrator 's mother face in getting her
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Why is Mathabane 's mother and grandmother insistent on him attending school? Mathabane’s mother and grandmother were insistent on sending him to school because they wanted him to have opportunities to do something with his future. They felt that the only way to do that was by getting an education. Going to school would open up his prospects as they, especially his mother, felt that the world was changing. “But I want things to be different for you, child…I want you to go to school because I believe that an education is the key you need to open up a new world and a new life for yourself, a world and life different from that of either your father’s or mine” (Mathabane 429). They also did not want him to turn out like his father, who was a drunk, abusive, and gambled their money

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