Two contrasting views of education are seen in the trajectories of the two brothers, Njoroge and Kamau. Njoroge is passionate about education and proud he has an opportunity to study, even though it doesn't last forever. Kamau, however, is more practical and realistic. He focuses on a marketable skill and begins studying carpentry.
Another perspective is added through Mwihaki, Njoroge's childhood friend and adult love. She is in an unusual position as a girl attending boarding school. Her understanding of importance of education makes her empathize with Njoroge when he cannot continue his studies, even though their families' politics keep the couple separated. The high value that Njoroge places on education is evident by the dire results when he can no longer continue studying and wants to end his life, from which she helps save him.