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This Earth of Mankind: coming of age

             In his novel, "This Earth of Mankind" author Pramoedya Ananta Toer writes of a boy, Minke, who is constantly being changed by the world around him. Through various circumstances and encounters with key individuals, we see Minke slowly align himself into the strong and capable leader that he is. Pramoedya shows, through Minke, the power of humankind, and its ability to rise above all things, even in the face of a horribly repressed political society.
             Minke has been placed into a special opportunity, where he is able to receive the same education as a European child. He is in fact, only one of two natives in his school at H.B.S. It is through his schooling and desire to learn, which enables him to go beyond all expectations, and become the person he is fully capable of being. Education for Minke, is a tool that expands the possibilities of his future, and gives him a better chance of finding his place in society, and the person he wants to be. For example, Minke is asked by Robert, ""What do you want to be when you've graduated from H.B.S?"" Minke, because of his education, has a variety of options. He does not have a narrow choice, like other natives without an education. Robert then follows up by saying, ""Robert Suurhof says you"ll be a bupati."" Minke replies by saying, "I prefer being free, as I am now. And anyway, who"d make me a bupati?"" No one can choose Minke's life for him. He has the skills and abilities from school that allow him to choose who he wants to be. Without his Education, Minke would have nothing to work with, and only then could others mold him into what they want him to be. .
             Education also opens the gate to a more confident life for Minke. In a society based around a caste system, education also holds its own weight. We can see this in Minke's intellectual conversation with Miriam and Sarah de la Croix. Although the both of them are European in blood and had both graduated from his highschool, Minke is still able to impress them with his knowledge and understandings.

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