Since all the characters in the novel are presented through the eyes of Eva, it is important that she is presented as a credible character. A member of the Baptist church herself and an ordinary peasant woman, she is capable of insightful thinking and profound analysis of her society. Lovelace’s effective use of dialect in Eva’s mouth makes her that much more reliable in her judgment of people and events.
Bolo, the warrior turned “badjohn,” represents rebelliousness within the society. As warrior, he is both admired and feared. He is the only one to stand up to the police and proclaim the rights of the people, but when the people refuse to support him and fail to stand up for their rights, he turns to terrorizing them, forcing them to find their “peoplehood.”
Bee represents the voice of moderation and patience. Unwilling to challenge the authorities directly, he seeks to use the political and legal machinery to change things. His slow approach results in a falling off of the church’s membership and the loss of the Spirit in the church. Bolo tries to show Bee the inadequacy of this approach. In time, Bee echoes Bolo’s sentiments: “We . . . shoulda never stop worshipping in the true Baptist way” and “we shoulda fight them, we shoulda kill Prince.” Eva, with her commonsense approach to survival, reminds him of the wisdom of his decision.
Ivan Morton’s character is used to discuss a phenomenon within Caribbean...
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