Jere - Betrayal in the City Characterization and Role
Jere is an ex-soldier and now a prisoner. He was a colleague of Mulili. He taught religious knowledge for three years before he was drafted into the army. He can be described as;
Jere is reasonable as he listens to Doga and Nina and understands their predicament. He even tells them that Mulili does not belong with them and does not know their ways when Nina threatens to curse them by stripping naked and Mulili makes fun of her.
He pleads with Doga to understand that he and Mulili are simply obeying orders when they say that the ceremony cannot go on.
He says, ‘old man, if I had the power, I would let you go on. I would even take part in the ceremony. I knew Adika well.Patriotic
He aspires for a prosperous Kafira and advocates for unity among all citizens.
He tells Boss, “No, your excellency, we shall not shoot you. Kafira needs each one of us, you included.” (pg 73)Friendly/Sociable/Understanding
He hits it off with the other prisoner with whom he enacts the episode of Pilate and Jesus from the Bible.
He easily makes friends with Mosese in prison. They quickly find that they have a lot to talk about because they are like minded as far as the administration of Kafira is concerned.
He empathizes with the old couple and wishes to allow them to carry out their shaving ceremony.Secretive/cautious
He does not let out the secret that Mulili allowed Mustafa to escape across the border.
When Mosese tells him about the circumstances that brought him to prison, the events of Adika’s funeral, Jere does not let Mosese know that he knows Jusper.Daring
He is unperturbed by the threats directed to him by Askari. When Askari tells him, “……I have killed a man once in this very cell, he replies, congratulations! How did you manage?” (pg 30)Intelligent/Cunning/clever/tactful
He and Mosese clearly carry out a palace coup to expose the villains like Mulili in the government.
He says they have no intentions of getting rid of Boss because they want the act to be’ A mirror that will reflect the real faces of Kafira’s front men.’
He compares the prison department with Meteorological Department which confuses the public by giving contradictory information.Philosophical
After observing Mosese’s reverie, Jere aptly summarizes the state of the society thus, “When the madness o
an entire nation disturbs a solitary mind, it is not enough to say the man is mad.’
Mosese’s behavior is a result of what the authority has put its citizen through-that is, oppression to the point of madness.RolesHe plays a significant role in the development of the plot of the story.
He enhances the character of other characters in the play. For instance, through him, the Askari is portrayed as brutal and intimidating.
Several themes have been brought out using him, for instance the themes of self-sacrifice and oppression.
He is used by the writer to highlight several stylistic devices such as play within a play, suspense and biblical allusion.
Betrayal in the City by Francis Imbuga
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