“The Man” is the protagonist hero of Armah’s The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born. As the protagonist hero, he represents the “beautyful ones” that Armah had wished were born in the Ghana of 1957-1966. In the succeeding paragraphs, I shall illustrate how he was a “beautyful one” in spite of any case of “unbeautyfulness” which he himself acknowledges.
“The Man” is a honest civil servant. For instance, he always rejects bribes. Of course, he hates the habits of giving and taking bribes. This is the reason why he condemns Mr. Amankwa as an unpatriotic citizen for offering him bribe to block government’s means of revenue generation, where his salary is paid. This is also the reason why he advises his messenger who wants to claim a winning of 100 Cedis from Ghana Lottery Corporation against giving bribe, but to make a report of the Lottery Corporation workers demanding bribe to the police.
“The Man” is a conscientious worker. For instance, he does riot play with his duty. You will always promptly find him at his desk even before the arrival of the cleaners who are supposed to sweep his office. He does not leave his station master’s desk except when on break or closing time. This is the reason why he politely refuses to obey the workers’ leader’s instruction to him to join up the solidarity rally for the coup. He had had to tell the leader that he will only leave his duty if the leader was prepared to answer his boss query on his behalf, if any train derailed while he was out for the rally.
“The Man” is principled and persevering. For instance, he hates corruption. His wife Oyo continues to nag him for this. Even his mother-in-law is not left out in the nagging. But “The Man” perseveres and does not allow anything to influence his principle. Again, “The Man” is a patriotic character. Sometimes when he had had to host Mr. & Mrs. Koomson in his house, Oyo his wife had advised him to look for contraband European drinks at all cost for the visitors. But “The Man” stood his ground that he could not become a smuggler, simply because he wanted to play a host to a Minister.
Furthermore, “The Man” is a revolutionary and critical character. In other words, he is very critical of Ghana’s exploitative leaders. For instance, he is critical of Minister Joseph Koomson for dashing his mother-in-law’s hope of getting a fishing-boat. He shows his annoyance by cautioning Oyo not to cook any fish given to herby Mr. Koomson. Since Mr. Koomson cheated Oyo’s mother on the fishing boat issue, Mr. Koomson had been giving fish to Oyo and her mother from the ‘fish catch” with the fishing boat called Princess, which is originally supposed to be owned by Oyo’s mother.
Even though “The Man” acknowledges that he did not plan for his future very well by his impregnation of Oyo and eventual early marriage just after secondary school education, all his virtues enumerated above still make him a “beautyful” character in Armah’s The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born.
Theory Questions on The Beautyful One’s Are Not Yet Born
What economic, political, human, social and other abuses according to Armah’s The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born caused the fall bf Ghana’s first civil government?
According to Armah’s The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, how did politicians and workers sabotage the growth of Ghana?
How did Ghanaian citizens themselves activate the fall of Ghana’s first civil government?
Account for the literary devices used by Ayi Kwei Armah to pinpoint the messages in The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
Write short notes on:
- Minister Joseph Koomson
- “Teacher” or Oyo’s Mother.