My Children! My Africa!

Education vs Violence in the Fight for Freedom 10th Grade

In apartheid South Africa, competing attitudes in the black community regarding how to defeat the oppressive system made accomplishing that change difficult to achieve. In Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! , Mr. M’s goal of ending apartheid through passive resistance in the form of education, contrasting with Thami Mbikwana’s belief in immediate action through violence, prevent them from seeing eye to eye. This inability to share a common perspective is rooted in Thami’s hopelessness because of his ancestry and background, and Mr. M’s hopefulness due to the success he has with his students.

Mr. M is a peaceful and patient teacher who dedicates his life to teaching because it gives him hope for the future and allows him to believe that words alone can change Africa, despite the violent approaches taken by most in his town. He is empowered to use passive resistance and education to combat apartheid by his students. He describes this in the quote, “I feed young people to my hope. Every young body behind a school desk keeps it alive” (Athol Fugard, 34). First of all, the connotations of reliance and necessity in order to survive associated with the word “feed” show that without these children, Mr. M’s fight would be nothing....

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