Mine Boy

2428 Words Jul 5th, 2015 10 Pages
In the face of utter, absolute shock, even the most adamant convictions can crumble. This breakdown blurs the line between what is rational and what is radical. In Peter Abrahams’s Mine Boy, Xuma (the main character of the book) is thrown into this state of insensible shock as a result of seeing the realities of city life. Abrahams is hailed by many because he informs to the whole world of the horrific reality in the apartheid system of South Africa. The setting of the story takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa and follows Xuma, a villager who is looking for a better life in the city, and monitors his up and down progress as he tries to find answers in an unjust world. The central theme of this novel is Xuma’s struggle to be freed …show more content…
But in the end, Xuma realizes this when Eliza alienates him by deserting him, and promises to marry Maisy as soon as he gets out of jail. Johannes, on the other hand, tries to escape the harsh reality by drinking heavily. He feels as though he could only surpass his complicated life when he was drunk; therefore, he was scared to be sober. Xuma is aware of this because he knows Johannes (aka J.K Williamson) is a man with a good intentions when he’s not drunk. This is seen when the roof of a mine collapses and Johannes sacrifices his own life to save the rest of the trapped miners. This was also similar in Daddy’s case because he was never sober until an automobile mowed him down.
Leah gives a few advices to Xuma and tells him the essential outlook he needs in order to survive the city life. She states that “in the city, it is like this: all the time you are fighting. Fighting. Fighting! When you are asleep and when you are awake. And you only look after yourself. If you do no, you are finished. If you are soft, everyone will spit in your face. They will rob you, cheat you, and betray you. So, to live here, you must be hard. Hard as a stone. And money is your best friend. With money, you can buy a policeman. With money, you can buy somebody to go to jail for you. That is how it is, Xuma. It may be good, it may be bad, but there it is. And to live one…

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