Densu observes his society and has uneasy feelings about its aims and his place within it. He is on the threshold of setting his course in life, and he finds no comfort in the direction his manipulative guardian, Ababio, would have him take. Ababio would have Densu, with his talents and resourcefulness, court power by serving Ababio and the white men. In Densu’s view, Ababio is a betrayer and a predatory user of the people. Densu, orphaned when an infant, consistently is able to refuse the promises of power which his wily guardian dangles before him. Densu chooses to pursue the path of inspiration and of healing, rather than that of manipulation. Densu wants to be true to his convictions, and the work of the healers genuinely intrigues and attracts him. To be drawn into the governing system as it is then constituted would be tantamount to enlisting in the forces of manipulation and exploitation. To join Damfo and the healers would offer the opportunity to promote unity of body, of mind, and of society.
Densu’s strength of conviction, along with Damfo’s gentle support, sustains him throughout trying perils and crises of spirit. Near the end of the novel, Densu is offered the kingship of Esuano, but he refuses it. He is free in mind and enlightened; he believes his energies will be better spent in working at the dream of black unity rather than serving as an instrument of a shortsighted status quo.
Damfo, the healer, is a man with a farsighted agenda. He is able to heal the physical and psychological impairments of individuals. He can lead individuals to see the truth of themselves in their predicaments. His great goal, however, is again to bring together black people in unity. The achievement of this goal may take centuries, but the more the people accept the truth of kinship, the greater the possibility of the goal being attained. “Ebibirman,” the...
(The entire section is 769 words.)