Fiela's Child by Dalene Matthee

1090 Words4 Pages
Fiela Komoetie, an essential character in the novel, is confronted when a discovery is made concerning her raising of a white child in a black home. The magistrate, highly suspicious about the situation, then sends Benjamin off to his presumably birth parents in the forest. He undergoes a transformation and develops during his accommodation with the Van Rooyen family in the Forest. When in the Forest, Benjamin Komoetie undergoes an identity crisis but soon after accepts his identity as Lukas Van Rooyen, whose lifestyle is governed under the oppressive arm of Elias. Elias plays a great role in the shaping of Benjamin’s new identity. In the novel Fiela’s Child, Dalene Matthee cleverly provides its readers with insight as to how Benjamin’s change in environment influences his change in lifestyles, as it plays a major role in how he develops. The lifestyles Benjamin comes in contact with in the Long Kloof and Forest differ immensely in regards to how family members function. The Komoetie’s are seen as much more unified than the Van Rooyen’s. In the novel it reads, “She cut the bread herself and spread the lard on it before giving each his share,” Fiela then says, “Make the coffee and pour it out for us, Kittie…and bring us a measure of meal.” then proceeds to say, “Benjamin, go and tell your father to get up,” (Matthee 50). They are inscribed in the novel as a family that prepares breakfast and eats together. The readers witness the everyday customs of their family, although

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