Home » Literature » Mine Boy Summary

Mine Boy Summary

Mine Boy is a novel by Peter Abrahams. It was published in 1946 and is set in South Africa. The novel tells the story of Xuma, a black man who moves to Johannesburg to find work. Xuma faces many challenges in his new life, including racism and discrimination. Despite these difficulties, Xuma perseveres and eventually finds success. Mine Boy is an important novel that sheds light on the realities of life in South Africa during Apartheid.

This is a brief overview of the novel Mine Boy, which was published two years before apartheid in South Africa officially started in 1948, but which highlights the racial prejudice and discrimination that existed in society at the time. We follow Xuma as he journeys from his home in the North to Johannesburg in search of work in the mines, experiencing one disappointment after another.

He falls in love with a white woman named Elizabeth, but their relationship is forbidden and Xuma is ultimately forced to leave her. He also befriends a white man named Dickenson, but Dickenson is killed by his racist father. Finally, Xuma finds love with a black woman named Lilli, but she too is taken away from him and he is left alone once again. Mine Boy is a novel that highlights the racism and discrimination that was prevalent in South Africa at the time, and which continues to be an issue today.

Johannesburg is the site of the first tale, where he was discovered and taken into the care of lovely Leah at Malay Camp, one of several huge black-only colonies lacking in social facilities. This habit is prevalent throughout Africa, where people are compelled by custom to look out for one another, particularly if they have come from far or are unknown.

Mine Boy is such a person, and Leah begins to teach him how to be a proper houseboy. However, Mine Boy is not content with his station in life, and he aspires to greatness.

He eventually gets a job at the mine, where he befriends Xhabbo, a wise old man who has been working in the mines for years. Xhabbo takes Mine Boy under his wing and starts to teach him about the world. Mine Boy is amazed by the work that goes on in the mines, and he starts to see the beauty in it. However, he also sees the dark side of the mining industry, as workers are often injured or killed.

One day, Mine Boy witnesses a horrible accident in which several workers are killed. He is so traumatized by the event that he decides to leave the mines and go back to Leah’s house. Mine Boy is a changed man after his time in the mines, and he now knows that he wants more out of life than just being a houseboy.

The second story tells the tale of Mboha, a young woman who Mine Boy meets while working at the mine. Mboha is different from other women Mine Boy has met, as she is educated and has ambitions of her own. The two of them form a friendship, and Mine Boy starts to see Mboha as more than just a friend.

However, their relationship is cut short when Mboha is married off to a wealthy man. Mine Boy is heartbroken, but he knows that there is nothing he can do.

The third and final story is about Mine Boy’s return to Leah’s house. He has been away for some time, and he is now a changed man. Mine Boy is no longer content with being a houseboy, and he wants to make something of himself.

Leah is supportive of Mine Boy’s goals, and she helps him get a job as a clerk in a store. Mine Boy is happy with his new job, and he starts to see a future for himself. However, his happiness is short-lived when the store is robbed and Mine Boy is shot.

Mine Boy is severely injured, and Leah takes him to the hospital. Mine Boy is in a coma for several weeks, and when he wakes up, he is a different person. Mine Boy has lost all memories of his past, and he does not know who he is.

With Leah’s help, Mine Boy starts to piece his life back together. He slowly starts to remember who he is and what he wants out of life. Mine Boy is no longer content with being a houseboy or a clerk; he wants to be something more.

Mine Boy is a novel about self-discovery, determination, and hope. It is an inspiring story about overcoming adversity and chasing your dreams. Mine Boy is a must-read for anyone who has ever felt lost or aimless in their life.

Leah, on the other hand, considered that his wife had been out in the mines since it was a man’s job and he did not want to be seen as soft. Leah was a Skokiaan Queen who distributed locally-made beer, which is an illegal substance for which one may face jail time if caught.

When Xuma arrives at the mines, he is introduced to the working and living conditions of the black miners. He is appalled by the treatment of the workers, who are paid very little and made to work in extremely dangerous conditions. When one of his friends is killed in a mining accident, Xuma decides that enough is enough and leads a strike against the mine owners.

The strike is successful and the workers are given better pay and conditions. However, Xuma’s happiness is short-lived as he soon discovers that he has contracted tuberculosis from working in the mines. He is sent to a hospital for treatment but eventually dies from the disease. Mine Boy is a powerful novel that highlights the injustice of apartheid and the courage of those who fought against it.

At the home of Leah, at Malay Camp, are Maisy, who made Xuma chuckle even when he didn’t want to; Eliza – a lover of white things; Daddy – the always-drunk man who was once a respected and wealthy man that took Leah in his home and fed her until he began to assert his rights and mobilise others to do so; Lena, a teacher who worked with Leah; and Ma Plank, a worker at Leah’s facility. Eliza captivated Xuma’s heart.

Xuma is a Mine Boy, which means he does the dirty and dangerous jobs in the diamond mine. He is black and uneducated. Mine Boys are not allowed to fraternise with white people, but Xuma befriends Philip Klopfenstein, the son of the Swiss Mine Manager.

One evening, after work, Xuma goes to Malay Camp to visit Leah. On his way home, he is set upon by a group of white men who strip him naked and leave him for dead. Xuma manages to make his way back to Leah’s house, where she tends to his wounds.

Xuma decides that he must leave Kimberley and go back to his village. However, before he leaves, he wants to make sure that Eliza is taken care of. He goes to see Philip, who gives him some money to take care of her.

When Xuma returns to his village, he finds that it has been destroyed by the British army. His family is dead and his home is gone. Xuma is devastated.

He decides to return to Kimberley and try to make a new life for himself. However, things are not easy for him. He is discriminated against because he is black and uneducated. But Xuma is a determined man, and slowly but surely, he starts to make a success of his life.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.