Study Guide

Kaffir Boy Chapter 18

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Chapter 18

  • The more frequent Papa's arrests become, the more Mark realizes what his life as a black man is going to be like.
  • He will have to carry a pass and it will never be in order – authorities will always be able to find something wrong with it. Mark begins to wonder if it's worth living life like this.
  • Because families from the reserves keep flooding the area, Mark soon begins to play with boys who grew up in the rural area. Mark begins to believe their superstitions.
  • Since many adults agree with Mark that the strange things he sees are the work of witches, he begins to think everything unexplainable is witchcraft.
  • All of life becomes governed by these explanations. The noises Mark heard in the night were the witches riding their baboons. His sisters couldn't eat eggs until puberty because it might interfere with their ability to bear children someday.
  • Mark believes all the wild stories until he grows older, and starts asking for better explanations. He begins to realize that although his parents have more life experience than he does, he doesn't have to accept all their explanations as true.
  • Mark decides to start finding answers out for himself. If those answers agree with his parents' explanations, then so be it. If they don't, he'd know for himself.
  • But although he knew what he was doing, he knew better than to mention it to his parents.
  • He was seven years old.

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