Long Walk to Freedom Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Long Walk to Freedom.
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Freedom

As its title suggests, freedom is central to Mandela’s memoir, both representing what the ANC’s movement for a nonracial South Africa has achieved and what work remains in the fight for total liberation. In this sense, Mandela’s memoir, rather than accepting the simplest definition of freedom as the ousting of the racist and oppressive National Party, advances a more subtle and multifaceted notion of freedom as both personal and political. This is clear in his description of his childhood in the Transkei, which he describes as being unfettered and relatively free, given the circumstances. He rarely encountered any whites, and passed most of the time in his studies or playing games.

As the memoir develops, Mandela plays with the related, yet not identical, concepts of “freedom from” and “freedom to.” Mandela’s description of his activities in the 1940s and early 1950s show him as...

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This section contains 2,206 words
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Buy the Long Walk to Freedom Study Guide
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