Fiela’s Child

by

Dalene Matthee

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Fiela’s Child can help.
Lukas van Rooyen is the young child of Elias and Barta who disappears one day in the fog when he’s still a toddler. Although the census-takers claim that Benjamin is in fact Lukas and that he survived that day in the fog, later events reveal that Lukas did most likely die shortly after wandering off.

Lukas Quotes in Fiela’s Child

The Fiela’s Child quotes below are all either spoken by Lukas or refer to Lukas. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Race and Identity Theme Icon
).
Chapter 1 Quotes

The day the child disappeared the fog came up early and by midday it seemed as if the Forest was covered in a thick white cloud.

Related Characters: Lukas, Elias, Barta, Benjamin, The Magistrate
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

‘Listen here, woman, you know as well as I do that there’s something very strange going on here. This can’t be your child but you gave out that he was yours. Where did you get the child from?’

‘He’s my hand-child.’

Related Characters: The Census-Takers (speaker), Fiela (speaker), Benjamin, Lukas, The Magistrate
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

‘Will I still know him?’

Related Characters: Barta (speaker), Benjamin, Lukas, Elias, The Magistrate, Fiela
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

‘He’s the forest woman’s child.’

Related Characters: Fiela (speaker), Benjamin, Barta, The Magistrate, Lukas
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

‘I’m your pa! That’s who I am! Say it! Say who I am!’ He was as tough as a piece of ironwood. ‘Say who I am!’

‘Pa.’

[…]

For every answer he gave him a lash. ‘And who are you?’

‘Benja— Lukas.’

‘Lukas who?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Lukas van Rooyen. Say it!’

‘Lukas van Rooyen.’

Related Characters: Elias (speaker), Benjamin (speaker), Barta, Lukas, Nina, Willem, Kristoffel, Fiela, The Magistrate
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

‘The child is back with his rightful parents,’ he said and it seemed as if his jaw had grown stiff. ‘What he had on the day he got lost can make no difference. You can put anything on him now and swear by it in the hope that I will believe you.’

Related Characters: The Magistrate (speaker), Fiela, Benjamin, Lukas, Elias, Barta
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

The year moved slowly. Christmas came. New Year. And as he grew out of Benjamin Komoetie, he also grew out of his cloths and had to wear Willem’s old trousers and a shirt of his pa’s.

Related Characters: Benjamin, Willem, Elias, Lukas
Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

‘Go home and tell pa I’m not coming back. I’m finished with the Forest.’

Related Characters: Benjamin (speaker), Nina, Elias, Barta, Elias, Lukas
Page Number: 251
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

He was shocked and guilt-ridden. For a moment, his body had forgotten that she was his sister.

Related Characters: Benjamin, Nina, Mr. Benn, Lukas
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 29 Quotes

The one wearing the blue shirt.

Related Characters: The Census-Takers (speaker), Lukas, Benjamin, Barta, Elias
Page Number: 338
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

The pilot pulled the needle through the thick white cloth. Somewhere in his beard a smile seemed to be lingering. ‘Of course,’ he said.

Related Characters: Mr. Benn (speaker), Benjamin, Nina, Lukas, Fiela
Page Number: 350
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Fiela’s Child LitChart as a printable PDF.
Fiela’s Child PDF

Lukas Character Timeline in Fiela’s Child

The timeline below shows where the character Lukas appears in Fiela’s Child. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
In 19th-century South Africa, it’s a foggy day when a child (Lukas) disappears. Elias Van Rooyan is in his shed where he usually cuts wooden beams, but... (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
Barta asks Elias where Lukas is, but Elias doesn’t know. Elias considers asking a neighbor’s oldest boy for help cutting... (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
Although Elias isn’t worried about Lukas being gone at first, when Lukas doesn’t show up, eventually all the women in the... (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
That night, Barta despairs that something bad has happened to Lukas. All the people of the small settlement try to reassure her and remember where they... (full context)
Chapter 8
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Parenting Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...do if they make it to court and it turns out the child there isn’t Lukas. (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Elias has no clue how Lukas could have made it over the mountain to Long Kloof. Despite Elias’s feeling that the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Parenting Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...with Elias and Barta. The people in the courtroom told him that his name was Lukas and that he originally came from the Forest, but Benjamin kept saying that they were... (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
Elias and Barta make it with Benjamin back to the house. Elias asks “Lukas” to greet his brother Willem and sister Nina. He gets impatient when Benjamin refuses to... (full context)
Chapter 12
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Parenting Theme Icon
...Elias might do if he loses his patience. The whole family continues to call Benjamin “Lukas,” and they have taken his items from his box and are now using them themselves. (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...clean it. Nina keeps insisting like everyone else that Benjamin is in fact the lost Lukas. Then Nina runs ahead of him; Benjamin chases after her, calling her name. She doesn’t... (full context)
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Parenting Theme Icon
...he otherwise bears no resemblance to their other children. Elias is preoccupied thinking of how “Lukas” can increase his output of wooden beams. (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...the forest alone and tries to sneak in, but Barta stops her. Elias asks where “Lukas” went, and Nina says he ran away. She says “Lukas” is heading back to his... (full context)
Chapter 14
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...by their progress. When Elias caught Benjamin the other day, he made Benjamin say that Lukas was his name and that Elias and the others were his family. Barta was horrified... (full context)
Chapter 15
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...a way to prove Benjamin’s parentage. They can bring in Barta and ask her what Lukas was wearing on the day he disappeared. Fiela knows exactly what Benjamin was wearing the... (full context)
Chapter 19
Race and Identity Theme Icon
...a snake that has to shed its old skin in order for him to become Lukas. By the start of the New Year, Benjamin begins to think of Willem, Nina, and... (full context)
Chapter 20
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...his only option is to buy a gun to hunt elephants. Still, he’s glad that “Lukas” (Benjamin) and Kristoffel have been so easy to deal with. (full context)
Chapter 22
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...earning money. Benjamin feels that his life became better when he accepted his identity as Lukas. (full context)
Chapter 23
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...Forest person like Benjamin should be careful around water. Benjamin introduces himself to Kaliel as “Lukas.” Kaliel explains that he just got back from taking planks from the ghost ship, which... (full context)
Chapter 24
Parenting Theme Icon
Elias goes to the scaffold and works to take out his frustration over losing “Lukas.” Barta had a strange feeling from the second day after Benjamin left to look for... (full context)
Chapter 26
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...Kloof. He remembers being Fiela’s hand-child and wonders if he’s actually 20 years old, as Lukas would be. Before Benjamin left on his journey, he talked with Nina again. He made... (full context)
Chapter 27
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Parenting Theme Icon
...he does. She advises Benjamin that only one person can stop making him feel like Lukas van Rooyen: Barta. (full context)
Chapter 28
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Parenting Theme Icon
...him for Kristoffel at first. She calls out to Elias at once, happy to see “Lukas.” (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...Benjamin gets the opportunity to talk to Barta alone. He asks if he is truly  Lukas. She seems frightened and says of course he is—she testified this to the magistrate and... (full context)
Chapter 29
Race and Identity Theme Icon
...getting his position on the crew. He asks Benjamin his name, and when Benjamin says, “Lukas van Rooyen,” Mr. Benn asks why he sounds so angry about that. Benjamin says he... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...a man die. She tries to comfort him by holding him against her, but the “Lukas” in him still keeps them apart. Later, however, as Benjamin reflects back on watching the... (full context)
Parenting Theme Icon
...admits she took the wrong child that day in court. She admits that Benjamin isn’t Lukas. At first Elias and Kristoffel act like she’s being delusional. But Barta is determined to... (full context)
Race and Identity Theme Icon
Parenting Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Barta explains that when she went to the court, she had to pick “Lukas” out of a lineup of five children, but before she walked into the room, one... (full context)
Chapter 31
Parenting Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...to Elias, he says he feels like Aunt Malie seems to have always known about “Lukas.” She once argued with Nina that Benjamin wasn’t really Lukas. (full context)