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The relationship between Priam and Somax illustrates this complex theme most clearly.The two men, despite being deeply separated by their class, education and power, share their common familial experiences.Both leaders self-identify with their nation and people.
Black and White South Africans share almost nothing in common, with significant cultural and societal barriers to their reconciliation, including different dialects.
Rugby emerges as the most poignant manifestation of this divide as the White South Africans support their national team, but the black south Africans barrack for the opposing side.
Malouf and Eastwood both depict societies on the brink: Troy faces annihilation by the Greeks, while South Africa faces an uncertain future as it emerges from the injustices of the apartheid era, both worlds are in dire need of true heroes to bridge the great divide.
Together, these two texts echo the significance of hope in the enactment of change.
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Both texts are centrally concerned with the significance of the universal experiences of love, loss, grief and hope to unite a divided people.
The scene wherein Pienarr and Mandela meet over tea is symbolic of this sentiment of fostering unity amongst deep divisions.
President Mandela literally hunches over to pour the tea for Pienaar, this inversion of status demonstrates his willingness to reduce his dignity as a superior and speak with Pienarr, and by extension, white south Africans, on an equal level, modelling an example of how race relations in his nation should be carried out.
This equality is also symbolised by the passing of the tea to Pienaar, the close up shot where both arms of the individuals are depicted on an equal level reinforces this sense of mutual equality and respect, extolling the virtues of empathy and integrity as a uniting force.
Mandela and Priam symbolise how leadership must inevitably entail familial sacrifices.