February 3

Journey To Jo’burg Novel Response


The author Beverley Naidoo used very vivid and descriptive language to make scenes in the book visualised. In chapter six of the book “Journey to Jo’burg”, there was a vivid description of the rush- hour in Soweto train station. Here’s a quote from that paragraph: “There was no sitting space and they felt as if all of their breath is being squeezed out of them. Grown up bodies pressed down from above and all around them. Somebody laughed, some swore and some kept silence, as the train shook and lurched away”(50). The way that the author described this part is that she used exaggeration and overdraw to express that feeling being crushed to the audience. For example she said Naledi and Tiro’s breath were being “squeezed” out of them.The figurative language make us feel and image the pain of being squashed.


I could make a connect from that text that I just quoted before to myself whenever I read it, because I’ve been through the Japanese train rush- hour. I could imagine and picture myself in that situation just like Naledi and Tiro from the book being squashed to death by the adults all around me. And plus that I have actually experienced it. So whenever I read it, it reminds me of the time when I was in the rush- hour and we share the feeling of between squeezed. I could share the feeling with the character in the book.


After reading the book “Journey to Jo’burg”, I wondered why is Grace’s brother Dumi was not included in the book. There was a part in the novel where Grace talks about Dumi, but he didn’t personally appear in the story. I think the author was trying to leave some space for us to use our creativity and imagination perhaps, just like she didn’t mention what happen to Dineo at the end. Or perhaps it was just a coincident that the author didn’t want him to appear in the book.


I think that the main idea or the underlying messages of this book is that education is really important. This idea was communicated to us and the very end of the book. At night, Naledi thought: “They didn’t want to learn to be servant… Especially in her own village, she could even look after her own family” (86 & 87). If you just learnt how to be a servant and how to cook in school, black people will never be able to fight back their rights and equality. They have to unite and use knowledge to fight against whites not with violence. And with knowledge, they could help each other.


After reading this book, I think that this text is very powerful. Now I understand why it was banned in Africa. Because the book clearly tells you how the blacks were treated back in the old days. And it’s teaching you about the revolution of education in school, you cannot be equal with your “master” when you’re learn about being a servant. And the white people didn’t want that because this single book, has the power of starting a revolution.



Posted February 3, 2015 by 20zhangs in category English

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *