Outer characterization

The name of the white girl who is murdered by Mxolisi is never mentioned throughout Sindiwe Magona’s novel Mother to Mother. Mandisa only refers to her as “your daughter” (p. 1) in her letters to the girl’s mother, but the author’s preface reveals that the girl is meant to be Amy Biehl. She is an American student (p.1) who has been in South Africa for the past ten months and will be returning home the following day. Amy is described as “tall and strong” (p. 5) with “long thick dark strands of hair” (p.5) and “long thin feet” (p. 6).

It is also important to note that Mandisa never meets Amy, so her characterization of her is only based on what she has heard from others or what she imagines the girl must be like. 

Inner characterizat


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