Tsotsi Essay Grade 11 Memo Questions and Answers Pdf

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Tsotsi Essay Grade 11 Memo Questions and Answers Pdf

In South Africa, a memorandum refers to a document that serves as an official communication within the education system.

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Tsotsi essay grade 11 memo questions and answers
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Tsotsi essay grade 11 pdf | tsotsi essay grade 11 summar

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Question 1#: Identify the positive and negative occurrences that shape Tsotsi’s life

Tsotsi Grade 11 Essay Questions and Answers (Memo) In the novel, Tsotsi by Athol Fugard, the main character can be seen as a dangerous criminal who manages to change for the better. The novel illustrates the idea that people are affected by the society in which they live whether it be positive or negative.

The brutality of apartheid and Tsotsi’s desperate need for survival shaped his life. However, positive occurrences such as the baby and Boston gives the reader hope that, even in the darkest times, there are forces and people at work who can make changes better for them.

The brutality of apartheid filled Tsotsi with fear from a young age. The system not only left him being brought up by a single mother but later left him without a mother.

This fear has a rippling effect resulting in Tsotsi running away, forcing himself to forget his past and live a life of crime. David Madondo is brought up by a single mother because his father is in prison.

For a black man in apartheid in South Africa, being in prison did not necessarily imply that he had committed a crime. The fear of the police as well as the fear of his enraged father forms the foundation of Tsotsi’s life as a hardened criminal.

Police arrest David’s mother during a midnight raid for people living without passes. David, scared of his father he never knew, and frightened when he sees his father’s violent abuse as he kicks the pregnant dog to death, runs away.

These manifests itself the resulting in Tsotsi “giving into the darkness”. The apartheid regime not only left fear in the heart of a young boy but took away the one thing that once formed a positive and safe foundation in his life-his mother.

The only way David can deal with his trauma is to forget his past. He has to pretend that he has never known anything else so that he can survive and turns to a life of crime. A series of events leads Tsotsi out of the darkness of the life he has chosen for himself to a concept of love, light, god and forgiveness.

Tsotsi commits to the darkest of crimes when he beats his associate, Boston, nearly to death. In the chaotic aftermath of the deed he runs away and tries to forget Boston’s warning that he may one day, feel.

Running away from Boston catalyses the chain of events that will change Tsotsi further. Proof of his effect on Tsotsi is the fact Tsotsi consults Boston for advice once he realises, he wants to change.

Tsotsi seeks redemption when he assists Boston with his wounds by taking him back to his shack and taking care of him and the changes in Tsotsi are revealed by the advice that he seeks from Boston.

On the fateful night that Tsotsi beats Boston up, he attempts to attack a young woman, but she hands him a box containing a baby instead. We see major change in Tsotsi’s thuggish exterior through this incident because Tsotsi chooses to take care of the child as best as he can. His careful care for the baby shows that he has the capacity for humanity.

The decision changes him and he starts feeling for his next victim. He decides not to kill Morris Tshabalala because Morris expresses the desire to live. Tsotsi’s interaction with Miriam Ngidi introduces the idea that relationships and human interactions can be good. And Tsotsi remembers his past. He is made whole again.

The novel illustrates the idea that people are affected by society in which they live. It also gives the reader hope that even in the darkest times, there are forces and people at work who can make changes for the better.

It does not matter that Tsotsi dies at the end; he has found his goodness, and that is all that matters. He dies at peace with himself.

Question 2#: Discuss the theme of redemption as seen in the novel, Tsotsi

The novel Tsotsi, by Athol Fugard, is a story of redemption and reconciliation, facing the past, and confronting the core elements of human nature. The character going through this journey, who the novel is named after, is a young man who is part of the lowest level of society, living in a shanty town in South Africa.

Tsotsi is a thug, someone who kills for money and suffers no remorse. But he starts changing when circumstance finds him in possession of a baby, which acts as a catalyst in his life.

After beating up Boston he eventually takes Boston in and through caring for him, Tsotsi asks him a question pertaining to life in general. This nurturing and discussion allows Tsotsi to redeem himself not only to Boston but himself. Boston now knows Tsotsi is trying to fix himself and become a better person, therefore gaining respect for him.

Next since Boston told Tsotsi he is looking for god, Tsotsi goes to the church and finds Isaiah, through their interaction Tsotsi learns more of god and what he and Christianity can do for you. Tsotsi agreed to return to the church later for a session. This shows us Tsotsi moving away from his state of sin and again moving closer to becoming David.

Once the baby came into Tsotsi’s life everything begins to change for Tsotsi. He starts learning to care or another human being and takes responsibility and not to pass the responsibility onto Miriam. Tsotsi cares for the baby- getting it milk and keeping it among the ruins so it can be safe.

Tsotsi is unaware of the change taking place in him at his stage, but him hiding the baby shows the awareness that it goes against his sense of identity and doesn’t want anybody to know about it. His careful care for the baby shows that he has the capacity for humanity.

The final act of attains redemption is when Tsotsi attempts to save the bay at the end of the book. At the beginning of the novel Tsotsi was a life taker and by the end he moves to a life saver showing us his full circle of redemption.

The author wants us to learn that although you may commit acts that are uncivil or incorrect you can always redeem yourself if you choose to do so. Tsotsi’s death while saving the baby shows his selflessness and is thus redeemable.

Tsotsi beings as a thug, showing no remorse. By the changes and his last deed is committing a great act of love, sacrificing himself for a baby. He regains memories of his childhood and discovers why he is the way he is.

The novel sets the perimeters of being “human” as feeling empathy, having a mother, having morals, having an identity, having a spirituality and feeling love. Tsotsi learns these and is redeemed. It is a very moving story about the beauty of human nature and hope for redemption no matter what.

Question 3#: Discuss the different gang members in the novel, including Tsotsi

In the novel Tsotsi, by Athol Fugard, all the gang members are victims of apartheid and turned to crime as mean of survival. Throughout the novel we see an evolution of Tsotsi’s’ character he starts off as a thug, killing for money and showing no remorse. But he starts changing when circumstance finds him in possession of a baby, which acts as a catalyst in his life.

Butcher is viewed as the most important member of the gang when it comes to killing and robbing people, he is very precise. Die Aap is an obedient follower, he is quiet and rather slow of mind, resulting in him not having very much to say and just does what he is told.

Boston is the most civilized of the gang. He isalso the only gang member who is opposed to violence and his main problem is his curiosity he tends to ask too many questions which led to his demise with Tsotsi.

As a boy Tsotsi was innocent and content, living as a victim of apartheid. When his mother was taken from home, he was left to witness his father come home and upon realizing the house was empty, he lashed out on the dog, paralyzing its back legs and killing the litter. This scarred Tsotsi and pushed him to flee home and eventually get taken into Petah’s gang.

This gang changed his identity; he became Tsotsi after several days with the gang participating in crime. Tsotsi becomes the leader of a gang who commit crimes in order to survive. Tsotsi has no morality, no memory and no history.

He does not spend time trying to remember his past, he lives in the present moment. Our first impression of Tsotsi is that he is a violent man who is well respected within his gang.

He beats Bostonbecause he attempts tobreak one of his rules- don’t ask questions- which is the only way he knows how to handle threats. After fleeing, Tsotsi is given a baby by a woman he intended to rape. This baby is the catalyst for his journey of self-discovery.

Tsotsi stalks his next victim, Morris who he plans to kill and rob, however; as Tsotsi stalks him he is given time to reflect and beings to build sympathy for Morris because the baby has changes his life values, and has learned to care and feel compassion. Morris also reminds him of the dog who was powerless in a similar situation.

The sympathy he attains is translated to when he and Morris interact, and he decides to let him live. Not only has Tsotsi’s outlook changed but Morris now values his own life as well which he explains to Tsotsi.

Their exchange leaves Tsotsi with the belief that he must value the little things in life in order to become redeemed. These events collectively influence Tsotsi to become David again,a human with a soul. No long is a murderous Tsotsi but a compassionate and loving young man.

These new values are what drive him to attempt to save the baby at the end. His instinct of killing has evidently shifted to an instinct of saving lives without hesitation. When their bodies are discovered he has a smile on his face showing that he has no regrets and is pleased with who he has become.

This is the ultimate sacrifice in life and the final step for Tsotsi to attain full redemption from past sins, becoming David- a new, admirable man.

Butcher, like all black males living in south Africa at the time, is a victim of apartheid. He was known as the killer; he never misses a strike and is the go-to man when the job needs to get done. Violence is the way he learned to survive because it is the only way he can. To Tsotsi Butcher isn’t much but a accurate, skilful and ruthless killer.

This is evident whenBucher uses a bicycle poker to kill Gumboot Dhlamini. He skilfully pushed the spoke into his heart killing him. Bucher does not undergo any changes in the novel. When Tsotsi disappears Butcher joins another gang, continuing on with a life of crime.

Die Aap, like all the other characters were introduced to as a symbol of apartheid in South Africa. Die Aap is a very local character, he wants the gangto stay together when Tsotsi speaks of them to split, they are his brotherhood and he would sacrifice for them. Die Aap is very strong and has long arms, reflected in his name. The gang benefits from his strength. Die

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Aap doesn’t play a huge role in the novel. For Die Aap, the gang was his sense of security. When Tsotsi tells him that the gang is over he is confused and lost.

Boston is the “brains’ of the group. He went to university but didn’t complete it because he was accused of raping a fellow student. This sent him down a path of resorting to crime for survival as he had no other way of making ends meet.

Tsotsi’s gang benefits from Boston’s intelligence as he can evaluate their plan of action and whether or not it will work. He is a very knowledgeable character and always tells stories to the group when they aren’t out stalking prey.

He is constantly asking Tsotsi questions- which go against Tsotsi’s two rules- and these questions began to make Tsotsi hate Boston.

In the outset of the novel Tsotsi beats Boston because of these questions and he accuses Tsotsi of having no decency.

This influences Tsotsi’s decisions throughout the book. At the end of the novel Tsotsi seeks Boston out and cares for him in order to try and discover answers to similar questions Boston was asking earlier. Boston acts as a catalyst for Tsotsi’s search for god.

He explains to Tsotsi that he must seek out god to get more answers and tells Tsotsi that everyone is“sick from life”.

Not only does he help Tsotsi understand what he must do to seek further redemption but the exchange they have also makes Boston realize he must go back home toseek redemption from his mother.

Tsotsi becomes a worthy man and finds redemption. Butcher eventually joins another gang and goes on with a life of crime. Die Aap loses his brotherhood and is confused and lost. Butcher has a realization and seeks redemption from his mother.

Essay Question 4#: Tsotsi is influenced to undergo a process of personal development by his encounters with certain characters. Discuss the impact of Boston, the baby and Morris Tshabalala on Tsotsi’s growth so far in the novel.

Tsotsi starts the novel as a cold, hardened criminal. He has rules by which he lives his life by, and they involve staying in control. Despite being influenced by characters mentioned, his harsh lifestyle and the external conditions created by the politics of the day bring him to a tragic end.

Boston is the character who likes to question things and seemingly has some send of ‘decency’ or conscience in the gang. Proof of his conscience is seen when he gets sick after they kill Gumboot Dlamini.

With Boston constantly questioning Tsotsi, he eventually gets provoked to beat him up and then runs away. Tsotsi can’t get the questions out of his head and he starts to reflect and is rattled by his encounter.

Running away from Boston catalyses the chain of events that will change Tsotsi further. Proof of his effect on Tsotsi is the fact Tsotsi consults Boston for advice once he realises, he wants to change.

Tsotsi seeks redemption when he assists Boston with his wounds by taking him back to his shack and taking care of him and the changes in Tsotsi are revealed by the advice that he seeks from Boston.

On the fateful night that Tsotsi beats Boston up, he attempts to attack a young woman, but she hands him a box containing a baby instead.

We see major change in Tsotsi’s thuggish exterior through this incident because instead of doing away with the baby he decides to keep it and doesn’t know why. He cares for the baby- getting it milk and keeping it among the ruins so it can be safe.

Tsotsi is unaware of the change taking place in him at his stage, but him hiding the baby shows the awareness that it goes against his sense of identity and doesn’t want anybody to know about it. His careful care for the baby shows that he has the capacity for humanity.

Tsotsi’s need for family is revealed when he refuses to give the baby to Miriam to take care of it because he feels a connection to the child. Tsotsi names the baby “David” after himself which reveals his need for family and the fact that he is embracing his lighter side once his memories open up.

Tsotsi dies trying to protect the baby at the ruins which shows that he has learnt to care for someone other than himself and something other than the “present moment”. With Morris Tshabalala there is an incredibly striking encounter in terms of witnessing a change in Tsotsi.

It is a moment in the novel his inner darkness and cruel instincts are overcome. Morris is a paraplegic and his disability reminds Tsotsi of the yellow dog- he is triggered by his memories being present on Morris’ appearance and this moves him to action.

Tsotsi feels sorry for him and when the moment comes to attack Morris, a conversation takes place between the two and there is a distinct change in Tsotsi. Morris asks Tsotsi if he wants to live and this question makes him consider what living is. Tsotsi also decides to spare the man.

A very tangible change in Tsotsi’s choices are evident in his discussion with Morris which enable Boston and the Baby to influence him even further. After this encounter, the reader witnesses a turning point in Tsotsi’s life where he starts to seek redemption.

Essay Question 5#: Discuss how Tsotsi, Morris Tshabalala and the baby all embody the struggle to survive:

The struggle for survival is embodied in the characters of the novel, Tsotsi. While Tsotsi’s struggle relates to his painful and emotional journey of self-discovery, Morris Tshabalala has to deal with both physical and emotional hardships on a daily basis.

The baby, who is abandoned by his mother, shows resilience and a fighting spirit in spite of the difficulties he faces.

Tsotsi’s struggle for survival relates to the emotional journey he undertakes to rediscover his identity.

It is not an easy journey as Tsotsi has blocked out the memories of his past because of his traumatic separation from his mother when he was ten years old, as well as the events immediately afterwards when the yellow dog died in agony after being kicked by Tsotsi’s father.

As a result of this separation and witnessing violence, Tsotsi suppresses all his memories and takes on a new identity. He turns to crime and gangsterism and is feared by others.

His violent and powerful nature makes it seem as if he is strong and therefore not struggling to survive, but the world in which he operates in is actually fragile. This is shown in the way he needs to live by “three rules”. Significantly “if he failed to observe them the trouble started.”

Tsotsi’s struggle for survival is also shown when he sometimes remembers things from the past, which would “stir and start associations charged with pain and misery inside him”. Tsotsi’s journey towards self-discovery exploration of his memories are ultimately necessary for him to survive.

However, it is not easy to confront the past and Tsotsi’s new struggle for survival means turning his back on the gang as he allows himself to remember the past. While he finds redemption and purpose in his life, he ultimately loses the struggle for survival when he dies.

Morris Tshabalala’s struggle for survival is seen in his daily suffering as a disabled man. He has a “bent and broken body” because of a mining accident after which he lost his legs. He crawls along the pavements like “a dog” on a leash begging for money.

He is restless and bitter and sees those around him as walking on “stolen legs”. When Morris is pursued by Tsotsi, his struggle becomes one of life and death. However, when his like is spared, he is grateful for his existence and finds meaning in the small things in life.

The reader is left with the feeling that even though he will be faced with difficulties and challenges throughout his life, survival is what he will fight for.

The baby’s struggle for survival begins when he is abandoned by his mother and shoved into the hands of someone who is the antithesis of a caring person. In the few days that follow he is subjected to difficult physical circumstances: being left in the ruins on his own; having to lie in soiled and dirty clothes; being fed with condensed milk and ants attacking him. Nevertheless, the baby survives and is thrown a lifeline when Miriam comes into his life.

Tsotsi, Morris and the baby all demonstrate resilience and toughness in their respective struggles for survival. During their respective journeys, Tsotsi finds his real identity, Morris discovers a new meaning in life and the baby shows a strong will to live.

Essay Question 6#: Discuss the themes of human decency and morality with the characters Tsotsi, Miriam, Boston and Morris

All of these characters to some extent demonstrate the quality of human decency. Morris is resentful of his circumstances but finds it within himself to be kind. Boston, by questioning Tsotsi about decency tries to come to terms with the conflict inside of him after robbing and killing Gumboot.

Miriam is the embodiment of generosity and kindness. Tsotsi starts feeling empathy in his encounter with the baby and Morris Tshabalala.

Tsotsi shows compassion by caring for the baby and deciding not to kill Morris. Boston challenges Tsotsi after the murder of Gumboot. This is the first time he mentions decency “I had a little bit of it so I was sick.”

It is clear that Boston not only has conflict about the gang’s actions, but also his role in it. He seems to have lost his sense of decency taking part in the gang’s crimes.

However, by challenging Tsotsi, Boston sets him on a path of finding decency within himself. In spite of his own sense of failure, he shows human decency by trying to answer Tsotsi’s questions even after Tsotsi had beaten him severely.

Morris feels he should give back something after Tsotsi spares his life. Even after enduring hours of being pursued, he feels he must “give this strange and terrible night something back”. He tells Tsotsi that mothers love their children.

Although he is bitter about his disabled body, he still finds it in him to be decent and kind to his tormentor.

Miriam has a generous spirit and shows this by caring for and feeding the baby. She also shows that she cares for Tsotsi and helps him to see the value of life. Finally, even Tsotsi shows human decency and kindness.

By allowing himself to remember his past, he starts to feel emotions too. This is evident in his caring for the baby, when he decides to spare Morris’ life and when he takes care of Boston. He shows the ultimate “decency” when he sacrifices his life to save the baby from the bulldozers.

Athol Fugard has shown that most people are capable of decency. Even Tsotsi, a murderer, gangster and criminal, eventually shows decency.

Someone like Morris with huge physical constraints, also proves that decency can be found in the most unlikely places. Boston has a constant need to do the right thing. He is honest with himself and shows decency to others. Miriam is the epitome of human decency.

What is the theme of identity in the Tsotsi essay?

In Tsotsi, characters have three kinds of identity, one false and two true: the false identity of stereotype, and the true identities of individual history and of universal human belonging. Memory is necessary to reject a false, stereotyped identity in favor of true individual and group identities

How did the baby change Tsotsi’s life essay?

The baby is a symbol of renewal, rebirth and redemption, focused on Tsotsi. It is the catalyst to change Tsotsi back to the person he once was, David. Tsotsi sees himself within the child and it triggers the pursuit of cleansing and redemption within his life.

What is the theme of the apartheid in Tsotsi?

Tsotsi represents South African apartheid (a system of legally enforced segregation and discrimination) as a racist structure that destroys Black South Africans’ lives—even when they aren’t experiencing direct, interpersonal racism.

What is the summary of the book Tsotsi?

Tsotsi, as he is known, is a young thief. Forced into the streets after the death of his mother, he has been pushed into killing to stay alive.

He doesn’t have feelings, he threw out his past and he refuses to go back there. He is ruthless, even his best friend can’t mess with him without falling into a raging fight.

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Therefore, it’s advisable to refer to the guidelines and instructions provided by the relevant authorities or the specific institution to understand the memorandum requirements and procedures.

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Note  “Memorandums are distributed through various channels, including email, physical copies, or online platforms. They are important for ensuring effective communication within the education system and informing stakeholders about relevant matters.”

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