Structure

Trevor Noah’s autobiography Born a Crime is divided into three parts and 18 chapters. Part I mainly focuses on Trevor’s childhood, Part II focuses on his teenage years, while Part III largely focuses on life after high school. The structure of the memoir is more or less chronological, as it begins with Trevor’s birth in 1984 and ends with events that took place when he was in his twenties. A few times, several chapters jump backward and forward in time and present events in a non-linear manner.

The autobiography mainly revolves around the adults who influenced his life the most – his mother, his father, and his stepfather. Trevor’s mother is described throughout the book, but Trevor mainly talks about her life before Abel in Chapter 5: The Second Girl, and about her life after marrying Abel in Chapter 18: My Mother’s Life. Trevor’s father is largely described in Chapter 8: Robert, although he is referenced throughout the book.

The memoir opens with a foreword which is an extract from the Immorality Act of 1927, which forbids intimate relationships between whites and people of color during apartheid in South Africa (p. 7). This foreshadows one...

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