Compare and Contrast Kaffir Boy Essay

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, White people, Black people Pages: 1 (426 words) Published: March 7, 2013
Compare and Contrast Essay
In Kaffir Boy, Mark Mathabane produces some minor comparisons and major differences between Clyde and Mrs. Smith. Even though they are mother and son, they tend to have different views when it comes to black people and the apartheid. But they both understand where they stand when it comes to who they are and who Mark and his grandmother are. Mathabane creates an interesting compare and contrast of personalities of Clyde and Mrs. Smith. Unknowingly or acknowledged, both Clyde and Mrs. Smith realize they are better than Mark and his grandmother. Mrs. Smith says “He looks like a very smart pickaninny.” She doesn’t even consider saying his real name; she just calls him a pickaninny the entire story. That just shows her lack of respect towards him. Clyde uses a much more derogatory term when he talks to Mark, showing that he has absolutely no respect for him at all. Not only do they both lack respect for Mark, but they assume that he is very uneducated solely determined by the color of his skin. When telling her son to get a book for Mark, Mrs. Smith, says “Show him your easy books,” implying that she has no confidence in Mark’s education. Even though Clyde and Mrs. Smith are mother and son, they share many different views. Mrs. Smith sincerely tries being open-minded and not discriminating, while Clyde finds it completely unnecessary to even treat Mark as a human being. Mrs. Smith views black people as actual people. Clyde does not even consider them of the same species. “My teachers say you’re not people like us, you belong to a jungle civilization.” Clyde was taught prejudices, while Mrs. Smith was not. Clyde has the idea that white people are a better race, drilled into his mind through all of his multiple textbooks and teachers teaching him that. Mrs. Smith was brought up in England, and the segregation of black people and white people was not as intense as it was in the United States. Clyde and Mrs. Smith may share the same race, but...
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