Characters

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 232

You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town is a series of short stories that are related and generally follow the same character, namely Frieda. A full list of characters in the book includes the following:

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Frieda Shenton—As the main character, she narrates all ten of the short stores in the book. Frieda is born in South Africa as a coloured woman living during Apartheid. She’s taught by her parents to emulate white people, and she desires to escape the environment that makes it so that she can never forget that she’s a second-class citizen. This character is also somewhat autobiographical for the author, Zoe.

Mr. Whedon—This character is one of the first introduced, in the first ten pages of the story. Frieda’s mother describes him as a “true Englishman.” The text says that “at first, Mr. Whedon came like any other white man in a motor car,” talking about how he was interested mostly in acquiring servants or farm animals. But later on, he became someone the local people in South Africa admired more.

Mamma and Father—Frieda, as the narrator, refers to her parents as “Father” and “Mamma.” They are obviously prominent characters in the book, and they are concerned at making sure that their daughter, Frieda, doesn’t end up just a servant to white people like many of the other people in town.

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