What kind of life chances did Africans have in Johannesburg-- what was the pull and why did so many people stay?

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Likely the biggest opportunity that was offered to young people in Johannesburg was that of working in the mines and having access to things that were so rare in the countryside such as entertainment, a social life that was more vibrant, and the opportunity of having cash in one's pocket.

One of the less obvious opportunities is the chance to escape from what some people may have seen as oppressive traditions in the country.  There were still very strong familial and tribal bonds in the hinterlands that gave young people a great responsibility to their families and their tribes because everyone knew them and their parents and their situation.  In the city, the freedom from this was intoxicating as their past ties and their family background did not follow them in the hustle and bustle of the big city.

To many, this was an intoxicating opportunity as they had the freedom to explore their lives without the moral and familial restrictions that were present in the country.

Read the study guide:
Cry, the Beloved Country

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