Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

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About this sample


Words: 467 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Words: 467|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Cultural Identity
  2. Racial Dynamics
  3. Survival During a Volatile Time
  4. Analysis of Literary Techniques
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Trevor Noah, a South African comedian, and television host, is best known for his memoir "Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood." In this book, Noah shares his experiences growing up mixed-race in apartheid South Africa, providing insights into cultural identity, racial dynamics, and survival during a volatile time. This essay will explore how Noah's narrative sheds light on these themes and their significance.

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Cultural Identity

Cultural identity refers to the sense of belonging and attachment to a particular culture or group. For Trevor Noah, cultural identity was a complex and challenging aspect of his upbringing. As a mixed-race child, he faced the difficulty of belonging to neither the black nor white communities in South Africa. The apartheid laws, which enforced racial segregation, further complicated his sense of cultural belonging. In his book, Noah recounts numerous anecdotes that highlight the struggles of navigating his cultural identity in a society deeply divided along racial lines.

Racial Dynamics

The apartheid system in South Africa enforced strict racial hierarchies that marginalized non-white communities. Trevor Noah's experiences offer valuable insights into the racial dynamics of this period. He faced discrimination and challenges due to his mixed-race background, providing a firsthand account of the harsh realities of apartheid. Through his reflections, Noah also discusses the complexities of race, privilege, and discrimination within South African society.

Survival During a Volatile Time

Apartheid-era South Africa was characterized by harsh conditions and widespread violence. Trevor Noah's strategies for survival and resilience in such a volatile environment are a central theme of his memoir. He attributes much of his strength to the influence of his mother, who displayed remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. Noah's narrative highlights the connection between survival and personal growth, emphasizing the importance of perseverance in difficult circumstances.

Analysis of Literary Techniques

Trevor Noah employs humor as a powerful literary tool throughout "Born a Crime." His use of humor engages the reader while conveying serious social issues, making his narrative both entertaining and thought-provoking. Additionally, Noah integrates personal anecdotes and storytelling to support larger themes, effectively conveying the power of storytelling as a means of preserving history and culture.

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Trevor Noah's "Born a Crime" offers valuable insights into apartheid South Africa, cultural identity, racial dynamics, and survival during difficult times. His narrative underscores the significance of these themes and their continued relevance in contemporary society. Through his personal experiences, Noah provides a compelling account of the complexities of cultural identity, racial dynamics, and the resilience necessary for survival. "Born a Crime" stands as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling in understanding history and shaping our understanding of the world.


  1. Trevor Noah. (2016). Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. Spiegel & Grau.
  2. Constitutional Rights Foundation. (n.d.). Apartheid and Racial Segregation.
  3. McKaiser, E. (2016). Trevor Noah’s ‘Born a Crime’ is a story of resilience. Times Live.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. (2024, January 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from
“Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.” GradesFixer, 29 Jan. 2024,
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Apr. 2024].
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 29 [cited 2024 Apr 19]. Available from:
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