Presented without any appreciable depth, the women characters are essentially seen as helpmates. Mrs. Lithebe is a religious and devoted Christian woman who accommodates Stephen Kumalo in Sophiatown. Margaret Jarvis, James’s wife, rarely appears except when grieving for her son’s death and during her own death scene. Gertrude Kumalo, Stephen’s sister, remains a prostitute in Johannesburg despite his efforts to rehabilitate her. Stephen Kumalo’s wife is a loyal, hardworking companion, who constantly supports her husband. Absalom’s wife builds a new life for herself, and her child becomes a symbol of a new generation.


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