The concept of Conflict in ‘Mine Boy’ by Peter Abrahams

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The narrative “Mine boy” by Peter Abrahams explores the stereotypes and institutions against the working black Africans. The complex exploration of mine boy is the search for one’s identity in a society that is abode with racism. Peter Abrahams, the novelist, represent to his reader the innermost evil that goes on in Johannesburg (one of the popular black cities in Johannesburg) and how the plot revolves around the confused protagonist who soon adapt with the ideologies and perception of the so-called city persons and the psychology to which persons in the gold mine has adhere to.

The major conflict in the play is Xuma’s struggle for peace, love and prosperity in a society of racial and economic discrimination. The concept of conflict runs through the plot as different/various instances of racism can be found in the play. Racism which is a prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership or affiliation of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized. Indigenous people have been marginalized over the years and etymologically, it has not been smooth-sailing for persons in a minor group or major group who are powerless. This is however, the ink that marks the unbearable life of the black south Africa during peter Abraham’s making of this work

An instance of conflict in the play is depicted between Daddy and Dladla as Ma Plank comes in between them to stop the evitable injuries and struggles between then. An instance of conflict in the play is portrayed at the beginning of the novel between Lena and fat Liz as they struggle between themselves.

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A major instance of conflict is shown when Xuma doesn’t show any mind towards the police as he feels he hasn’t done anything wrong to be reprimanded by them but forgets he’s in a racial community as he’s attacked by the police because he refuses to show any sign of fear and remorse, he eventually flees from the police but sustains some injuries. He also gets into a physical argument with Dladla as a sudden action from Dladla is detected. He cuts Xuma with a knife on his face.

Another instance is portrayed in the conflict revolving around Eliza as she is confiscated in her feelings and she is confused about what she wants. It is to be noted however, that conflict in a literary work of art does not only revolve around physical struggles or bone of contentions between characters in the novel. The crux is, conflict in literary work could be between the individual and the society or the individual with his personal conflictions and doubt, carried out through an element called stream of consciousness, which is use in understanding the inner thoughts that goes on in the mind of such character. Eliza prefers to be a white and wants to live among the white. She feels like a white inside although she’s black. Eliza is cold hearted in her feelings and thoughts. She stupidly leaves Xuma as she is well aware that she loves him due to her confiscated feelings.

The concept of conflict in the play doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical or verbal argument with another person. It could also be a conflict within one’s self. These instances of conflicts run through the plot as it occurs from the problem of racial discrimination.

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