Friday, January 31, 2020
A Long Walk to Free
A Long Walk to Freedom Essay Ã¢â¬ ¢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, Ã¢â¬ËLong Walk to Freedom,Ã¢â¬â¢ the long, drawn out vowels like Ã¢â¬ËeeÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬ËoÃ¢â¬â¢ reflects the struggles and difficulties in this exhausting walk. Even the word Ã¢â¬ËwalkÃ¢â¬â¢ 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 Ã¢â¬Ëlast links to childhoodÃ¢â¬â¢ and step into a wider mature world of adulthood. The Ã¢â¬Ëspeeches, songs and gift-givingÃ¢â¬â¢ portray the African culture; the Ã¢â¬Ësons of XhosaÃ¢â¬â¢ have just been Ã¢â¬ËcircumcisedÃ¢â¬â¢ again reflecting African customs. Due to this, the writer gains a Ã¢â¬Ëheady feelingÃ¢â¬â¢ of confidence and his body gestures Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Ëstraighter, taller, firmerÃ¢â¬â¢ effectively illustrate his inner feeling of pride and satisfaction. Suddenly the Ã¢â¬Ëgaily colored dreamsÃ¢â¬â¢ 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, Ã¢â¬Ëcontinuing a tradition. Ã¢â¬â¢ 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 lyeÃ¢â¬â¢s, and imperative that they are exposed to the reality around them. Calling their Ã¢â¬ËsonsÃ¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬Ëyoung healthy and handsome,Ã¢â¬â¢ Meligqili begins his speech in an assertive tone. In addition to this, he also calls them Ã¢â¬Ëflower of the XhosaÃ¢â¬â¢ sketching a metaphorical image of budding life and the true potential and Ã¢â¬Ëpride of [the] nation. Ã¢â¬â¢ He shakens the juvenile adults with harsh words naming the ritual an Ã¢â¬Ëempty, illusory promise. Ã¢â¬â¢ There is a dejected, deep sense of negation as they have Ã¢â¬Ëno strength, no power, no controlÃ¢â¬â¢ over their Ã¢â¬Ëown destiny. Ã¢â¬â¢ Furthermore, their bleak future is ragged off their rightful position as they are nothing more than Ã¢â¬Ëslaves in [their] own country,Ã¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬Ëtenants in [their] own soil. The bitter irony behind these juxtaposed words hits us hard, as they are left with no value or significance in the very own homeland Ã¢â¬â their possession which has been snatched away from them by the whites. The pungent issue of racism is raised as Ã¢â¬Ëall South Africans, are a conquered people. Ã¢â¬â¢ Moreover, in the land of their Ã¢â¬Ëbirth,Ã¢â¬â¢ they suffer the discomfort of Ã¢â¬ËshacksÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬Ëcheap alcoholÃ¢â¬â¢ since they are deprived of their own land to Ã¢â¬Ëprosper and multiply. Ã¢â¬â¢ These lines repeatedly highlight the struggles, injustice and discrimination the unfortunate people endure everyday in their native soil, but yet not theirs. In addition to this, it is them who Ã¢â¬Ëcough their lungs out deep in the bowels of the white manÃ¢â¬â¢s mines. Ã¢â¬â¢ This is the most impactful metaphor and alliteration as it allows us to visualize the inhuman, merciless conditions the people are made to work in, detrimental to their health and all for the robbed treasures of the whites. They have lost every bit of authority or belongingness of their own possessions and rather their energy, labor and efforts are wasted in filling the greed of the white men. Ã¢â¬ ¢Piling up such dreadful, pathetic images, our sympathy and compassion is drawn.Ã We can understand the brutalizing agony internally and externally torturing these innocent people regularly due to Ã¢â¬Ëunequalled prosperity. Ã¢â¬â¢ Their Ã¢â¬Ëabilities, intelligence,Ã¢â¬â¢ are all Ã¢â¬Ësquandered. Ã¢â¬â¢ The writer uses superlatives like Ã¢â¬Ësimplest, mindless chores,Ã¢â¬â¢ which show their powerless nature and Ã¢â¬Ëattempt to eke out a livingÃ¢â¬â¢ for the white men. Furthermore, the words of the chief are at the peak of disappointment where he wants a chance to Ã¢â¬Ëshake [Qamata] awakeÃ¢â¬â¢ and tell him that Ã¢â¬Ëthe flower of Xhosa nation are dying. Their state is so helpless that is seems even their God is Ã¢â¬ËdozingÃ¢â¬â¢ and he repeats the Ã¢â¬Ëflower of Xhosa,Ã¢â¬â¢ to underline the youth Ã¢â¬â the future, beauty, innocence and strength of their fading nation. Ã¢â¬ ¢All these horrific visions illustrated and the bitter, harsh words of truth leave an undying, unbelievable and undeniable impact on the reader. The words pierce through our ears, almost allowing us to feel the pain. It arouses a number of questions in our minds especially due to the irony, and great sympathy for the Africans. Yet, the young adults are only Ã¢â¬Ëmore and more quietÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬Ëmore and more angry. By these repeated comparatives, the writer contrasts their present feeling of resentment to their mood of celebration earlier. All the words are slowly seeping in but it only made them rather Ã¢â¬ËcrossÃ¢â¬â¢ as they thought the chief was being selfish and Ã¢â¬Ëignorant,Ã¢â¬â¢ in his Ã¢â¬Ëabusive comments,Ã¢â¬â¢ since he was not noticing the positive side Ã¢â¬â the whites brought them Ã¢â¬Ëvalue of the educationÃ¢â¬â¢ and the moral cultures and etiquettes taught by them. Their tender age has almost blinded them to the Ã¢â¬ËoppressorÃ¢â¬â ¢ behind what they think is the Ã¢â¬Ëbenefactor. In all, the only thing the chief ended up doing was Ã¢â¬Ëspoiling the proud feelings with wrong headed remarks,Ã¢â¬â¢ for the teenagers. Ã¢â¬ ¢Gradually, the pace slows and there is growth of mental maturity and realization as the true meaning of the chiefÃ¢â¬â¢s words began to seep in MandelaÃ¢â¬â¢s mind. The real essence of the words had Ã¢â¬Ësown a seedÃ¢â¬â¢ to the development of a potential future, although it had been Ã¢â¬Ëdormant for a long season. Ã¢â¬â¢ Now, the tables turn as Mandela realizes itÃ¢â¬â¢s him who was the actual Ã¢â¬Ëignorant man,Ã¢â¬â¢ not the chief. Adding on to the different metaphorical images; is when Mandela watches Ã¢â¬Ëthe riverÃ¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬Ëmeander on its way. These phrases reflect back to the title and theme of a Ã¢â¬Ëlong walkÃ¢â¬â¢ which is a route with its curves and junctions. Finally, the river Ã¢â¬Ë[empties] into the Indian Ocean,Ã¢â¬â¢ symbolizing his outpour of emotional success as after Ã¢â¬Ëmany miles distant,Ã¢â¬â¢ he sees a vision of success Ã¢â¬â liberty and happiness. Although, this young adult had not yet Ã¢â¬Ëcrossed that riverÃ¢â ¬â¢ and his future seems very bleak, but he is now ready to face the challenges of life and combat the rocks that hinder his route, with a lot of power, struggle and hard work. His foresight is still limited as he knows Ã¢â¬Ëlittle or nothing of the world beyond,Ã¢â¬â¢ that Ã¢â¬ËbeckonedÃ¢â¬â¢ him. Under these words, the writer expresses how none of them had yet tasted the Ã¢â¬ËgiftÃ¢â¬â¢ of freedom and independence but right now, for all he knew, darkness was descending Ã¢â¬â it was Ã¢â¬ËsunsetÃ¢â¬â¢ already and time for him to prepare. Furthermore, we get a little more idea of the African tradition as Ã¢â¬Ëit was forbidden to look back while the lodges were burning,Ã¢â¬â¢ probably because we can never go back to the past and remembering it will only sadden us more and build hesitance to step into a new world. This feeling is even understood as Mandela is unable to Ã¢â¬ËresistÃ¢â¬â¢ and looks back at Ã¢â¬Ëtwo pyramids of ashes by a large mimosa tree. Ã¢â¬â¢ These ashes metaphorically symbolize the loss and fading away of a Ã¢â¬Ëdelightful worldÃ¢â¬â¢ of childhood and the Ã¢â¬ËsweetÃ¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬Ëirresponsible days. Ã¢â¬â¢ There is complete dilemma as, when he looks back, there are only faded ashes and ahead; darkness enveloping him. Also the Ã¢â¬Ëmimosa treeÃ¢â¬â¢ in a way symbolizes the survival of the fittest, as it is a sturdy, giant tree that continuously bears the pain of memories burning by it. Ã¢â¬ ¢After a pause, there is a new picture illustrated Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Ënow [he] was a man. There is a deep sense of negation and remorse as Ã¢â¬Ënever againÃ¢â¬â¢ would he get back those youthful, playful, mischievous days. After Ã¢â¬Ëmany yearsÃ¢â¬â¢ he has finally become a man but now itÃ¢â¬â¢s like a re-birth to attain independence. Ã¢â¬ ¢All in all, the extract Ã¢â¬Ëcountry childhoodÃ¢â¬â¢ brings out the first steps of Mandela through inspirational words and encouragement; to the celebrated statesman he is now. He is a potent symbol of resistance striving out his life to attain his goal of victorious freedom and in this autobiography, he embodies the spirit of dignity and triumph of hope over despair and hatred.