Mr. M and Thami
Throughout apartheid, the goal of the people in charge of the government was to place people in two groups: white and black. However the opinions of each individual were eventually what really separated the South African people. There were those in favor of ending apartheid and those in favor of maintaining it. Some people wished to end it peacefully, and others were all for guerilla warfare, and violent tactics, in order to fight for their freedom. In My Children! My Africa! Mr. M’s opposition to violent protest, and Thami’s leniency towards it, prevents them from seeing eye to eye, and their opinions differ because of the different time periods each of them grew up in.
Though their opinions aren’t all that different in the first act, Thami’s beliefs about freedom and the revolution become increasingly formulated as the play goes on, causing conflict between himself and Mr. M. Thami has open distaste for Mr. M that he speaks about with Isabel, but it is only because he doesn’t like how Mr. M always thinks he knows what’s best for him even though Thami has opinions and ideas of his own. He states to her, “He always thinks he knows what is best for me. He never asks me how I feel about things. I know he means well, but I’m not a child anymore. I’ve ideas of my own now.”(19) When talking about his “ideas of his own” he is referring to his beliefs about the future of South Africa and the revolution, though that isn’t revealed until the second act. His opposition toward Mr. M is just manifesting as he is only just figuring his ideas out. He knows he doesn’t want to obey Mr. M’s orders and hopes for him, but at this point he can’t quite explain it fully. However, in the second act he formula...
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...n be completely normalized in another and this is what really separates Thami and Mr. M’s thinking. Even though they are both black, male, South African, and intelligent, the difference of the time they grew up in makes their points of view entirely different. In the time this book takes place, a new wave of blacks fighting back against their oppressors was occurring, and this had never occurred with such force until then. Twenty years before, black people were imprisoned for a long time if they had committed any violent actions, so they were much less likely to do so. In the 80s it became clear that the end of apartheid was near, and the notion of the “cause” became more prevalent, so the youth of South Africa had nothing to lose. Thami and Mr. M 's ideas about violence are drastically different, because of the norms set at the time that each one of them grew up in.
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