You Assign My Book, Don T Censor It By Mark Matbane

1725 Words7 Pages

In Mark Mathabane’s article, “If You Assign My Book, Don't Censor It”, Mathabane argues against schools assigning censored versions of his story “Kaffir Boy”. The author supports his argument by explaining how his life story doesn’t have the same emotional impact without the extremely controversial scene where young boys prostitute themselves. Matabane’s purpose is to inform potential parents or teachers of the significance and importance of the controversial scene, in order to keep students from reading censored versions of his story. Matabane presents his argument to appeal to educated Americans. Overall Mathabane effectively proves his argument that censoring a pivotal point of his story compromises its theme of freedom.
Mathabane begins …show more content…

Mathabane reveals himself as a promoter of freedom as he travels speaking about his hardships. “Every year I also talk to thousands of students about my work and my life in South Africa. I tell them how fortunate they are to live in America, how important it is not to take this nation's freedoms for granted” (). This gives further credibility to Mathabane because he is revealing himself as a man who stands for America and its benefits. Americans could be easily moved by this because we are extremely proud of our freedom and available oppurtunities. Mathbane also quotes the chairwoman of the English department at Kearsley High, the high school where his story is being censored, to help his argument that “Kaffir Boy” isn’t pornographic but important, “"Kaffir Boy" is disturbing, but it isn't pornographic… the prostitution scene, which makes up three pages, is frightening, but it is an important scene”(). Mathabane’s purpose for including this quote is to give to give the prostitution scene even more legitimacy through the use of Ethos. Concerned parents could assume that if the chairwoman of the English department deems the scene important and essential, then the scene must actually by important and essential. Mathabane also uses many symbols to help enforce his argument is his use of language and symbols. Mathabane writes how books had helped him during his struggles, “While I was in the ghetto, groaning under the yoke of apartheid, wallowing in self-pity, believing that I was doomed to die from the sheer agony of frustrated hopes and strangled dreams books became my best friends and my salvation” (). The language he uses is very profound and burdening, the single phrase, “doomed to die from the sheer agony of frustrated hopes and strangled dreams” ,is enough to stir emotions in the reader. Mathabane continues to explain the significance that reading has had in his life “Reading

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