One of the central themes of the novel Mother to Mother by Sindiwe Magona is family. Throughout the novel, a big emphasis is placed on Mandisa’s duty to her family and her clan, both in her childhood and in her adult life. 

Growing up, Mandisa sees how her mother acts, often in extreme ways, because of the duty she feels towards her daughter as a mother: “ ‘God put mothers on earth to ensure the health of their daughters’ ” (p. 95). Later, when Mandisa has Mxolisi and wants to return to school instead of marrying China, her parents tell her she needs to respect the wishes of the entire clan. Moreover, Mandisa’s father respects his brother’s counsel in the matter, although he would like Mandisa to return to school as well. In this way, the characters show that...

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