Multicultural Report on Peter Abraham's Research Paper
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The U.S.A. is known to be a host of people from varied origins like German, Scottish, Italian, Africans and so on hence the mixture of many cultures. This is the same phenomenon with South Africa as portrayed in the novel. There are the Africans, Irish, Dutch (Boers) and the English people among others (Stanford University, n.d).
The two countries also have a shared history of the segregation culture that saw one group of people given lesser preference on the major issues like governance and access to basic amenities. The societal stratification existed within the U.S.A. with the whites presumed to be superior to the rest of the Americans, and the same thing is portrayed in the novel where the whites held higher class than the rest. They were feared as they held the major offices and wealth yet the Africans there were despised, economically down and living in slums by the help of menial jobs like mining to keep alive.
Within the segregation culture in both courtiers, it was the color of the skin that noticeable played a significant role in setting them apart. In America the blacks were trapped in the color of their skins just like it was in South Africa. This is brought forth from the constrained nature of Xuma that he had no freedom anywhere else apart from in the mines. "His white man had even tried to make friends
with him because the other mine boys respected him so much. But a white man and a black man cannot be friends. They work together. That's all." (Page 61)
There seems to be a difference between the family structure and values that exist between the two countries. While the Americans are known to be limited to the nuclear family and the extended family members living in homes of their own except among a few ethnic groups (Kwintesential, 2012), the families in South Africa are known to value the extended family even portrayed in the novel as Leah hosts several people like Xuma, Johannes, Daddy, the cousin Eliza.
It is therefore worth noting that though they are on different geographical locations, and may even have varying history, there are various cultural similarities that still exist between the U.S.A. And South Africa. The literature of a people is one of the best ways of capturing their culture and preserving it as well and Mine Boy does exactly that.
Kwintesential, (2012). USA - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette. Retrieved June 10, 2012 from http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/usa.html
Peter Abrahams, (1989). Mine Boy. Heinemann.
Prima Birungi, (2010). Mine Boy (by Peter Abrahams). Retrieved June 10, 2012 from http://www.africabookclub.com/?p=853
South Africa Tours and Travel, (2012). Brief history of Apartheid in South Africa. Retrieved June 10, 2012 from http://www.south-africa-tours-and-travel.com/apartheid.html
Stanford University, (n.d). The History of Apartheid in South Africa. Retrieved June 10, 2012 from http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/apartheid.hist.html
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