- Your rough draft should be a minimum of two and a half pages, double-spaced, MLA formatted, with a name block in the upper lefthand corner.
- Your rough draft should have a clear introduction, a working thesis, and two to three body paragraphs.
- This essay requires a works cited page that lists all the sources used. This includes the main text and an additional two outside sources. You can check Mt. Sac’s library database for articles and sources, or chat with a librarian online 24/7. Check out the library website 5.
- Your essay will respond to the following prompt: When Noah’s stepfather begins abusing him and his mother, he learns how South African society views and treats female domestic violence victims. He witnessed the police discredit his mother’s claims, and she only finally left Abel after he almost killed her. How do you think these experiences influenced his future and shaped his relationship with his mother?
Chapter 18 Assignment: Rough Draft
Chapter 18, ‘My Mother’s Life’ of Trevor Noah’s autobiography “Born a Crime,” emphasizes the relationship between Trevor himself and his mother, Patricia. He considers his mother as a beautiful person both inside-out and goes on admiring her beauty as she is engrossed in mundane chores of daily life. Moreover, there is a sense of pride in him, for he considers his mom a self-confident, independent, and hardworking woman. The life of Trevor and his mother will take a U-turn soon after Abel’s entry into their life, who is a mechanic and works in Mighty Mechanics, a garage in Yeoville.
Growing up in a South African society with stepdad Abel, Trevor saw domestic violence on her mom and later on himself and learned important lessons concerning police authority. He got to know about how society viewed women’s independence and discarded their opinions. It also shows Trevor leaving home and not being happy because of his mom’s decision to stick to his abusive, drunkard stepdad. Leaving home and shifting his mind from his mom’s decisions, Trevor changed his life and became a stand-up comedian as well as an explorer. His future is very different as compared to the past he grew up in (Noah, 2016)
The advancement of Abel in the lives of Patricia and Trevor looked positive as he was funny and appeared charming to them. He was one of those people who was always ready to help others and make it easy for everyone to adore him. Trevor also considers him strong physically and thinks of him as a cool friend of his mom. As a seven-year-old kid, Trevor talks about having an intuition that Abel is not being the right person for his mother, Patricia. This shows his inner connection with his mom, and it was hard for him to confront her not to marry Abel. After marriage, both Patricia and Abel had a child named Andrew. It was neither happy nor sad news for Trevor as he was quite young to get an understanding of things happening around him.
The first time, Patricia did not get on well with Abel in Tzaneen, as the area preferred certain rules for women to always be followed. At that time, Trevor was a kid and enjoyed the male privilege he got in Tsonga. Noticing changes in the attitude of his stepfather made him a critical thinker, and he wanted his mom to be independent rather than marry others. Their behavior of Abel at the very start was friendly, but after some time, it was evident that Trevor’s stepdad did not like him to sit around or give presents on his birthday. Disconnecting himself from repairing cars, Abel made it difficult for both mother and son to go to church or even visit Trevor’s dad.
As an independent duo, Patricia and Trevor never felt they needed a man in their life to dictate and manage them. It was out of sheer likeability that his mom decided to be with Abel. The first sign of abuse was seen when Trevor’s stepdad came home drunk as usual and, in order to heat his meal, almost burned the house. This incident shows Patricia questioning Abel on his manhood and habit of drinking. This infuriates him, and he slaps her many times for disrespecting her. Trevor realized at this point that the police were of no help and treated cases of domestic violence as fickle matters.
Later, a sincere apology by Abel followed, and he promised never to use coercion. This was true for some years, and that is why Patricia stayed with him. One of the important aspects that affected Trevor’s life was the financial crisis faced by his family. He saw his mother as a person who kept giving back in the relationship and business and yet went through violence at both physical and mental levels. He tried his best to keep up with such situations by sleeping in cars, eating caterpillars, and helping in the garage despite school (Laster and Whitney, 2019).
Trevor describes his experience as a first child and always wonders why he gets more punishment than his younger stepbrother, Andrew. Patricia justifies her love even though she beats Trevor by saying that he can handle it as he is stronger than Andrew.
Later this relationship between mother and son gets more mature as Patricia stops using violence to punish Trevor. This is something she learned from him, noticing how Trevor grew up in an environment of domestic violence around him yet had no aggressiveness or violent attitude to suppress others. Trevor believes that true love is the key that makes violence pointless and creates a new and happy world for others. Trevor deeply loves his mother not only because she is a “teammate” but also has unhindered devotion towards God.
This inspires Trevor, and he considers his mother to deserve the best in the world. Eventually, looking at her disruptive relationship with Abel makes him angry with his mother. Why can’t she move on or leave this abuse? He expects such daring steps from his mother because she overcame the problems they faced during apartheid. Trevor temporarily distances himself from the family in order to seek his life goals, such as comedy, traveling, and other exploring fields. After some time in the story, when Trevor gets a little out of his frustration with his mom, he realizes that culture and relationships have very different realities and are not how, as young kids, we imagine them to be.
Moreover, he understands the decisions taken by Patricia for security that she prefers above independence while having three children in South African society. The relationship between Trevor and Patricia is unconditional and enriching as both care for each other’s sanity and well-being. Making decisions the way his mom will make in the very situation shows how Patricia and Trevor share similar moral consciences and are selfless for each other (Toywa, 2019).
Noah, Trevor. Born a crime: Stories from a South African childhood. Doubleday Canada, 2016.
Laster Pirtle, Whitney N. “How does it feel to be born a problem?.” Contexts 18.3 (2019): 50-51.
Toywa, Olivia S. Narrating the Self in Apartheid Through Humour in Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. Diss. University of Nairobi, 2019.