What are the main characters in The River Between?

In The River Between, the central character is Waiyaki. People think Waiyaki will save them from the adverse influence of colonialism. Waiyaki is in love with Nyambura, another main character. Nyambura isn’t circumcised, which Kabonyi, a third main character, uses to his advantage.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As you might remember, the main characters in The River Between are split between two villages. The Makuyu village is more connected to the West, Christianity, and colonialism. The Kameno village is much more anti-West. They don’t believe colonialism or Christianity is so great.

Now, let’s look at some of...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

As you might remember, the main characters in The River Between are split between two villages. The Makuyu village is more connected to the West, Christianity, and colonialism. The Kameno village is much more anti-West. They don’t believe colonialism or Christianity is so great.

Now, let’s look at some of the main characters in more detail:

Waiyaki: You might think of Waiyaki as the central character or the protagonist. As you might have noted, much of the story revolves around him. After he’s banished from the Christian school, Waiyaki and some of his friends start their own school. Soon, Waiyaki becomes immensely popular. People seem to think of Waiyaki as their knight in shining armor. He might save them from encroaching colonialism.

Kabonyi: You might think of Kabonyi as one of Waiyaki’s rivals or antagonists. He is jealous of Waiyaki’s popularity. He schemes to take him down.

Nyambura: Waiyaki and her are in love. Her dad is a Christian preacher. Unlike her sister, Nyambura abides by her dad’s wishes and doesn’t get circumcised. Her lack of circumcision plays into Kabonyi’s scheme.

Joshua: He’s Nyambura’s dad. He has another daughter named Muthoni. Muthoni dies after she goes against her dad’s wishes and gets circumcised. Joshua, as previously noted, passionately supports Christian culture and spurns Gikuyu rites. You might have noticed that he’s rather violent and authoritarian. Remember, Joshua abuses his wife because she was circumcised.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team