Tsotsi, Athol Fugard Analysis

The Book Lovers' Sanctuary

So these are the ideas which I have been discussing with my class.

Tsotsi is set in 1956, give or take, in Sophiatown, a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. It was written by Fugard in the early months of 1960 after Sophiatown had been destroyed by the white community in Johannesburg and, therefore, there is an inevitability to its destruction. This inevitability is expressed in the gangs of slum clearance workers and in the language where, for example, the remnants of broken houses are described as Being like”skulls”.

Our main character is Tsotsi, the eponymous (anti) hero. He is “the one they called Tsotsi” which makes it clear that it is a title or label rather than a name; and a label that means simply “thug” when translated. It is not a name given to him with love by his mother, it does not connect him to…

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