What did being free mean to Mandela as a boy, and as a student? How does he contrast these “transitory freedoms” with “the basic and honourable freedoms”?
As a boy, Mandela did not have a hunger to be free as he thought that he was born free. As long as he obeyed his father and abided by the customs of his tribe, he was free in every way he knew. As a student, he wanted certain “transitory freedoms” only for himself, such as being able to stay out at night, read what he pleased and go where he chose. He then talks about certain “basic honourable freedoms” such as achieving his potential of earning his living and of marrying and having a family. He builds the contrast between these two freedoms by stating that the transitory freedoms he wanted were limited to him, whereas the honourable freedoms had to do more with his and his people’s position in the society.