How was Nelson Mandela a nonconformist? 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Mandela is a nonconformist because he was able to define his own path in the face of others stressing that he needed to adhere to another.  Mandela would have to be seen as a nonconformist because he was able to embrace what he felts as right.  Mandela acted upon his own sense of righteousness and honor.  Mandela could be seen as a nonconformist because he withstood the pressure from the South African government to conform.  The White government of South Africa specialized in seeking to ensure that Mandela would conform to their own point of view and embrace their own sense of what is right.  They used measures that would compel weaker people to conform.  Mandela did not.  Mandela withstood these attempts at conformity and remained a nonconformist.  It is in here where I think that one can see how Mandela is a nonconformist.  Mandela's presence is one in which one can see the ultimate redemption in nonconformity, a position in which one can represent what should be as opposed to what is.