Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Thinking about the Text

Question : 1

1.    Why did such a large number of international leaders attend the inauguration? What did it signify the triumph of?


2.    What does Mandela mean when he says he is “simply the sum of all those African patriots” who Had gone before him?


3.    Would you agree that the “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”? How does Mandela illustrate this? Can you add your own examples to this argument?


4.    How did Mandela’s understanding of freedom change with age and experience?


5.    How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?

Answer : 1

1.    I international leaders showed a gesture of unity to put an end to the practice of apartheid by being a part of the inauguration. It was the significance of the victory of good over evil and triumph of a tolerance of society without any racial discrimination.


2.    By saying that he is simply the sum of all those African patriots, Mandela paid his tributes to all those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom. He said that he was grateful to those who had gone before him because those heroes of past paved the path of co-operation and unity for him. Therefore, he could try to come to power to bring equality for his people with their support and eradicate racial discrimination.

3.    I totally agree with the statement that depths of oppression create heights of character. Nelson Mandela illustrates this by giving examples of great heroes of South Africa like Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and others who were an inspiration, who did not bother about their lives and sacrificed their lives in the long freedom struggle to liberate others from the bondage.
India is a nation which is full of such examples, great leaders who sacrificed their lives during our freedom struggle. There was a group of leaders of possessing great character, love for their country and a strong desire to something for their country who raised their voice against the oppression of British rule, created awareness and encouraged people of noble characters like Mahatma Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai, JL Nehru, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Sardar Bhagat Singh etc.
If we compare them with the quality of political leaders of today, then Nelson Mandela seems to be absolutely correct in what he is saying.


4.    With age and experience, Mandela realized the importance of freedom, understood the real meaning of freedom. When he was a young boy, he thought that he was born free and thought that as long as he obeyed his father and the customs of his tribe, he was free. But when he grew older, he realized what did freedom to raise a family, to earn a livelihood mean and all this left a great impact on his mind .He started thinking about freedom in a different way. All this made him realize that he was selfish during his childhood. He slowly understood that it was not just his freedom that was being taken away, but the freedom of all blacks of his nation. It was the freedom from fear and prejudice. So with age and experience he understood the clearer meaning of freedom.


5.    Mandela realized in his youth that it was not just his freedom that was being snatched from him, but the freedom of all blacks who were a part of that nation. This changed his mind set and from a fearing person he became a daring rebel.
He sacrificed all the comforts of a settled family life and raised his voice to fight for a greater cause. He joined the African National Congress and became a young bold rebel ready to fight for the cause of his fellow friends and fought against racism.

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