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What do you think about the role of Mandela as a son, husband and father?I'm going to...

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devindi | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 31, 2012 at 8:10 AM via web

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What do you think about the role of Mandela as a son, husband and father?

I'm going to answer to an essay type answer on this autobiography by Nelson Mandela. So please help me to give a proper answer for the question.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that Mandela makes it fairly clear that he sees himself as a political leader first.  He does not focus that much attention on his role as a son or husband or father.  His primary focus is to be seen as  a political leader of South Africa.  In many ways, I think that this is deliberate.  Nelson Mandela recognizes his fundamental importance to South Africa is to its narrative of providing " the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities."  There is little else in which he identifies.  Mandela sees his purpose and function in being as a construction of political and historical reality.  Emotional notions of reality in terms like father, husband, or son is not where he sees his own sense of being defined.  Mandela sees himself as a political figure or leader first with all other notions subservient to that.  It is here where I think that Mandela makes it absolutely clear that his focus in terms of where he believes that his own emphasis lies is in the realm of political leader before all else.  It might also reflect his own hesitancy in talking about these issues, given how much he emphasizes his role as political and historical figure to South Africa.

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