A Long Walk to Freedom
This extract is an autobiography by Nelson Mandela talking about the transition from a small undemanding child to a contributing factor in society. The writer engages our sympathy by effective use of vocabulary, various linguistic techniques and through his nostalgic tone. In the title, ‘Long Walk to Freedom,’ the long, drawn out vowels like ‘ee’ and ‘o’ reflects the struggles and difficulties in this exhausting walk. Even the word ‘walk’ co notates to the, strive for the attainment of freedom and rights of all individuals. •
There is a gradual flow of ideas in this extract which has a great impact as it bringing out the growth and understanding through the passage of time. In the beginning, a somber serious mood is created as they farewell their ‘last links to childhood’ and step into a wider mature world of adulthood. The ‘speeches, songs and gift-giving’ portray the African culture; the ‘sons of Xhosa’ have just been ‘circumcised’ again reflecting African customs. Due to this, the writer gains a ‘heady feeling’ of confidence and his body gestures – ‘straighter, taller, firmer’ effectively illustrate his inner feeling of pride and satisfaction. •
Suddenly the ‘gaily colored dreams’ darken, as the young adults now have to face the harsh reality. There is a sense of clouding of the future as the Chief would give a speech, ‘continuing a tradition.’ The words act like a source of inspiration and encouragement, enlightening the youngsters to the disgruntled society. It is in their hands that the future lye’s, and imperative that they are exposed to the reality around them. Calling their ‘sons’ ‘young healthy and handsome,’ Meligqili begins his speech in an assertive tone. In addition to this, he also calls them ‘flower of the Xhosa’ sketching a metaphorical image of budding life and the true potential and ‘pride of [the] nation.’ He shakens the juvenile adults with harsh words naming the ritual an ‘empty, illusory promise.’ There is a...
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