Sizwe Banzi Is Dead Themes

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Identity

The central theme of “Sizwe Bansi” is Dead is identity. Identity plays a different role in each of the main character’s lives. For Styles, identity is something that he makes for himself. He is able to forge a new identity for himself as a photographer after his dissatisfaction with his labor as a factory worker. He feels that he is treated as less than a man at his job, so he quits and makes himself into a man. Through his work as a photographer, Styles does the same for other people. Through the lens of his camera, Styles captures and preserves the identities of his patrons. He allows their memories to live on.

Styles identifies the most important things to men like him as identity and memory. The black citizens of South Africa in the 1970s have nothing that they own other than their identities and the...

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This section contains 745 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sizwe Banzi Is Dead Study Guide
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