Thesis: In Noah’s novel, both religion and racism affect his and his mother’s life, however, her mother’s devotion and love raise her child independently with love.
New York Times bestseller “Trevor Noah: Born a crime” is a novel around one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. The life of Trevor Noah who is a colored child born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable. It is the story of a young boy who grown up in a restless world and struggled to find himself in a world where he is not supposed to exist. His birth in a proof of his parent’s crime, that’s why novel named “Born a crime”.
Trevor’s whole family was religious, but his mother is more than devoted towards the church. Trevor and his mother go to the “three types of the church every Sunday because his mother believes that every church gives something important”. (6) His mother was black and very religious which makes her nature strict and stubborn that Trevor could never win certain arguments with his mom especially about going to church. There were riots going on in the country because of the different racism still, his mother didn’t stop going to the church. Once they mistakenly went to the minibus which is a punishable thing for them because they were black, his mother to save Trevor, kick him out of the bus. “They had a very tom and Jerry relationship, she was strict disciplinarian; Trevor was naughty as shit.” (11)
Trevor’s mom has a strong heart and an autonomous belief in herself. She raises her kid by herself independently without his father. Because she was black, she faced problems at every step of our life whether it comes to having a kid or raising a kid. No matter wherever she lives, racism always stayed with her to make her feel inferior from others. This racism doesn’t let her child confess that Trevor is his child. “When his child took birth there was no one to take the credit as the colored child comes out of the black woman.” (26)
Staying indoor every time shows how Trevor struggled with his identity, as the product of a black mother and the white father. He was unable to be seen in public with his parents for fear of being taken away. Even he struggled in identifying that which group he belongs to either black or white.
“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel (1)
Even the blind faith of Trevor’s family made them believe in demons. Their faith and believe made them superstitious. A superstition is an unreasonable fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.
Racism and religion are two different aspects of livelihood, but in Trevor’s case it comes together and made their life worsen, even though the dare of his mother showed, is something should be highly praised. Her faith and belief in God give her strength and never let Trevor feels that he is a child raising by a single parent. Their love towards each other is enough to complete the emptiness of his father in life.
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