Art and Literature

Black Hermit characters analysis pdf

Character Analysis in Ngugi Wa Thiong’O’s The Black Hermit

Black Hermit characters will be discussed in this post.

The principal characters in Ngugi Wa Thiong’O’s The Black Hermit are;




The Pastor



Leader of Marua Elders

Their traits are sketched out in the following order:

Character Analysis of Remi

He is the hero of the play

He is the only surviving child of Ngome and Nyobi

He is a brilliant character and the first university graduate from Marua tribe of Kenya.

He is the greatest of all the examples of “hermits” in this play, until he realises at the tail end of the play, that cultural issues are different from nationalism.

Remi is an hermit because he does not want to recognise the culture of his people (i.e. illustrate with how he does not whole-heartedly accept his marriage to Thoni.

Remi is an hermit for the conservative angle at which he always sees anything (i.e. illustrate with how he says workers have no right to go on strike to fight for their rights)

Remi is an “hermit” for the myopic angle with which he often perceives an idea

i.e. illustrate with how he describes Omange as a revolutionary because of his opinion that an African government which is oppressive should be destroyed, just as colonialism was destroyed.

Remi is an “hermit” for the blind idealism he always preaches

i.e. illustrate with how he is fond of describing the Marua people as tribalists when the people are just ambitious to have a member of the Marua tribe in Kenya government.

He is irrational

illustrate with how he waited until Thoni had to commit suicide before making attempt to test whether Thoni loves him or not.

He is decisive

illustrate with how he discourages himself from quickly returning to the village after the elders and the pastors visits while contemplating whether he will have peace of mind or not, while at the village.

However, Remi is an amenable character

illustrate with how he regrets that he allows himselfto be blinded by nationalism, while he mocks his Marua people’s strategy for survival as tribalism.

Character Analysis of Thoni

She is the play heroine

She is a beautiful woman

She once married to Remi’s dead elder brother, before Marua culture of inheritance that stipulated that Remi must inherit her.

She is a patriot

i.e. illustrate with how she never rejected the cultural necessity for her to be inherited as wife by Remi.

She is a resolute character

illustrating with how she decides that she will not remarry as suggested by Nyobi.

She is a moralist

illustrate with how she pleads with Nyobi that it is not good for a woman to be going from one man to another, when Nyobi continues to advise her to forget about Remi and remarry.

She is an highly impulsive character.

illustrate with how she predicts that Remi would have changed in the city and consequently have no time for her, on his return from the city. Indeed, she had committed suicide before conscience pricks Remi to think about her on seeing her last letter.

She is irrational and desperate

illustrate with how she does not think twice before committing suicide immediately Remi publicly condemns his marriage to her.

Character Analysis of Nyobi

She is Remi’s mother

She is a Christian and a religious bygot like the Pastor in the play

i.e. illustrate with how she always feels self-guilty anytime she supports traditional beliefs.

She is a selfless character

i.e. illustrate with how she advises Thoni to remarry to another man and to stop waiting in vain for the return of Remi, so that she too can have children on earth.

Nyobi is a loving and caring mother

i.e. illustrate with how she expresses suspicion, when the leader of Marua elders contacts her that there is a plan to attract Remi home from the city by magical medicine

Nyobi is a dynamic character

i.e. illustrate with how she eventually releases herself from the Pastor’s bygotism grip, by leaving his prayer meeting to answer the drum call of every Marua villager to come and welcome Remi, at the village centre.

Character Analysis of Omange

He is Remi’s friend

He is not from Marua tribe, but from Njobe tribe of Kenya.

He is a liberally progressive character

i.e. illustrate with his opinion that workers have the right to go on strike to fight for their rights

He is an intelligent character

i.e. illustrate with his opinion that a government deserves the support of its citizen if such a government believes in taking good care of its citizens’ basic needs.

He is a frank and altruistic character

i.e. illustrate with his opinion that an African independent government which is as oppressive as a colonial government deserves to be destroyed; or with his opinion that Remi is supposed to leave the city and go back to the village.


Settings of Ngugu Wa Thiong’O’s Black Hermit


Figures of Speech and Literary Devices in Black hermit

Character Analysis of Jane

Jane is the European girlfriend of Remi.

She is a loving character.

She is non-racial

i.e. illustrate with how she really wishes Remi could take her to the village to know his people

She is an analytical character

i.e. illustrate with her analogy that Remi ought to have run away from home and rejected to inherit Thoni, if he does not believe in the culture of wife inheritance

She is an apprehensive character

i.e. illustrate with how greatly she felt offended that Remi has jilted her.

Character Analysis of the Pastor

He is the Pastor of the Christian Church in Marua

He was once Remi’s Sunday School Teacher.

He is a religious bygot

illustrate with how he always reads religious meaning into any development around him.

He is a separatist and another example of an “hermit’ in this play.

i.e. illustrate with how he advises Nyobi to discourage Remi from politics and prevent the Marna elders from coming near him.

He is an opportunist

i.e. illustrate with how he short-changes Nyobi on the account of her message to Remi to come back home to Thoni. But the Pastor goes to the city to persuade Remi to return to the village to become a missionary.

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I'm a dedicated and progressive individual with an exceptional work ethic and client oriented service aptitude. I write to inform and educate. Currently I'm an English language students Lagos State University.

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