Peter Roche has in his own way been a “guerrilla,” a white man who has written a book about his torture and imprisonment by the South African government; he now sees himself, however, as a man without a function who undermines himself daily. His involvement with Jimmy’s idea of a revolution based on land, a fantasy agricultural commune, is exposed by the end of the novel to be as ephemeral as his relationship with Jane. The irony of his present job as a public relations officer for Sablich, a firm that was once involved with the slave trade, suggests the discrepancy between the ideals of his autobiography and the reality of his daily life. Chapter 13, in which Meredith interviews Roche, is the crucial chapter in this respect, revealing the emptiness beneath Roche’s illusions of himself as a revolutionary on the side of the local blacks. In fact, as the interview suggests and as Roche has earlier admitted to Jane, the driving force in his personality has not been the revolutionary’s desire to subvert the establishment but rather the need of the colonial personality to identify with the oppressor rather than the oppressed. In admitting his acceptance of authority, Roche blames the educational system that subjected him to a kind of humiliation that conditions colonizers to revere order, power, and the group, and to fear the alien Other.
Jane, the white upper-middle-class woman educated on fantasies of class, power, and race, is compelled to face...
(The entire section is 565 words.)