Marmais van der Vyver is the protagonist, an Afrikaner farmer who accidentally kills one of his farm boys.
Other characters in the Story: Van der Vyver’s wife and children, Captain Beetge, Lucas, Lucas’ mother, wife and children, etc.These are secondary characters whose role was to enhance how Marmais van der Vyver relates to the tragic accident of shooting his son.One of the first things we get to know about van der Vyver is that he deeply regrets shooting Lucas and that he did not do this intentionally.that makes the reader sympathize with him. The regret can be seen in the fact that he immediately goes to the police station after the accident, carrying the boy in his arms. At the police station he gives a statement, shaking and crying from what had just happened.
This shows his sensitive side very well “He was shaking, this big, calm, clever son of Willem Van der Vyver, who inherited the old man’s best farm.”.”The captain was ashamed for him, and walked out to give him a chance to recover himself”van der Vyver has good positive characteristics like him being a respectful party member. he is also a shy person “everyone in the district remembers Marias van der Vyver as a little boy who would go away and hide himself if he caught you smiling at him”van der Vyver has a sense of humor “the farmer was almost laughing with relief, ready to tease”These aspects of van der Vyver push the reader to like him.The author has built the character of van der Vyver in an extremely unique way as the story goes. after introducing him to the reader, the reader thinks that he knows him very well, and as the story continues the author reveals new things to prove the reader wrong.
Van der Vyver is introduced as a successful party member. He is cold and reserved “this coldness and reserve”At the very beginning the reader realizes that van der Vyver has killed his worker and that no one will believe him “Marais Van der Vyver shot one of his farm laborers, dead.” “None of the people will believe him”depending on the information provided, the reader might consider Marmais guilty, but these thoughts disappears as the story continues.
The reader then figures out that Marmais is a shy person and that he regrets the death of Lucas, his illegal son.the way of presenting the character suits the theme of the story very well. The way a thing is seen is not necessarily how it actually is.