Kaffir Boy

Kaffir Boy

by

Mark Mathabane

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Mrs. Smith Character Analysis

Mrs. Smith is Granny’s employer, a kind white English woman who believes apartheid is horrible. Mrs. Smith demonstrates to Mathabane that not all white people are evil, and she give Mathabane clothing and books to read, kindling his love for English literature. Most importantly, Mrs. Smith introduces Mathabane to tennis when she gives him an old wooden racket.

Mrs. Smith Quotes in Kaffir Boy

The Kaffir Boy quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Smith or refer to Mrs. Smith. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Apartheid’s Structural Oppression Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Touchstone edition of Kaffir Boy published in 1986.
Chapter 30 Quotes

“Yes, I do believe in the Bible. That’s why I cannot accept the laws of this country. We white people are hypocrites. We call ourselves Christians, yet our deeds make the Devil look like a saint. I sometimes wish I hadn’t left England.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Smith (speaker), Johannes Mark Mathabane, Granny (Ellen)
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:
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Kaffir Boy PDF

Mrs. Smith Character Timeline in Kaffir Boy

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Smith appears in Kaffir Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 30
Personal Prejudice Theme Icon
...off at their stop and walk to a large house, where Granny calls out to Mrs. Smith from the gate. Mrs. Smith comes out to meet them—a small white woman dressed in... (full context)
Apartheid’s Structural Oppression Theme Icon
Personal Prejudice Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
...school bus stops in front of the house and a chubby white boy gets off— Mrs. Smith ’s son Clyde. Clyde doesn’t like that Mathabane is there and calls him a “Kaffir,”... (full context)
Apartheid’s Structural Oppression Theme Icon
Personal Prejudice Theme Icon
Tribal Identity vs. Modern Education Theme Icon
...“Kaffirs can’t read, speak, or write English like white people because they have smaller brains.” Mrs. Smith walks into the room as Clyde is saying this and scolds him again, saying that... (full context)
Chapter 34
Personal Prejudice Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
When Mathabane is not quite 14, Mrs. Smith gives him an old wooden tennis racket and tells him she wants him to become... (full context)