Fiela’s Child


Dalene Matthee

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Fiela’s Child: Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

The sun rises, and Benjamin wakes up beside the sea. He ponders over recent events and who “Benjamin Komoetie” really is. He wonders if asking this question about his identity even matters, and he remembers that all this means Nina isn’t his sister.
Benjamin’s return to the name “Benjamin Komoetie” shows that he has come full circle, and yet he’s also changed over the many years since he last used that name. His lingering questions about his identity show that he’s still young and has a long, uncertain future ahead of him.
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Benjamin goes to Mr. Benn and tells him that from now on, his name is Benjamin Komoetie, which isn’t a new name but his old one. He says he’ll help until Kaliel September feels well enough to rejoin the crew. Mr. Benn says his name is a good one. He says Benjamin can re-join the crew, but Benjamin says he’ll need one more day off—he’s going to Miss Weatherbury’s house (where Nina still works). Mr. Benn smiles and gives him permission to leave.
Benjamin’s commitment to Mr. Benn’s crew shows how, after finally feeling in control of his identity, he wants to choose his own future and become the sailor he always dreamed of being back when he played with wooden boats in Wolwekraal. Benjamin’s decision to go see Nina, confident in the knowledge that she’s no longer his sister, suggests that after finding his independence, the next phase of Benjamin’s life might be starting his own family.
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