Fiela’s Child


Dalene Matthee

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Willem Character Analysis

Willem is the eldest son of Elias and Barta and eventually a “brother” to Benjamin. Elias teaches Willem how to cut wood beams. Later, Elias often sends Willem to try to find Nina, who frequently runs away from the jobs in the village that her father arranges for her. Despite his initial obedience, Willem becomes increasingly distant from his domineering father over the course of the story.

Willem Quotes in Fiela’s Child

The Fiela’s Child quotes below are all either spoken by Willem or refer to Willem. 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 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!’



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 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:
Get the entire Fiela’s Child LitChart as a printable PDF.
Fiela’s Child PDF

Willem Character Timeline in Fiela’s Child

The timeline below shows where the character Willem appears in Fiela’s Child. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Parenting Theme Icon start shooting elephants, but that would require expensive equipment. Elias and Barta’s oldest son Willem tells Elias that Lukas isn’t anywhere in the house. Elias says to check with Aunt... (full context)
Chapter 10
Parenting Theme Icon
...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 say anything. (full context)
Chapter 18
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon dig a pit. They all dig a pit over the course of days, with Willem and Kristoffel sometimes stopping by to help and Elias often leaving the children alone. (full context)
Chapter 19
Race and Identity Theme Icon become Lukas. By the start of the New Year, Benjamin begins to think of Willem, Nina, and Kristoffel as his siblings, although it’s harder to accept Elias and Barta as... (full context)
Race and Identity Theme Icon
...Bet. Nina says that eventually Benjamin will have to marry Bet, just like Nina and Willem have also already been promised away in marriage to locals. (full context)
Chapter 20
Parenting Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature Theme Icon
...from going through the Forest into the village to collect Nina’s wages. Eventually, Elias sends Willem to go fetch Nina, but Willem finds out that she has been fired. Willem gets... (full context)
Chapter 22
Parenting Theme Icon
Nina has once again gone missing, and with Willem and Kristoffel away, Elias has no choice but to send Benjamin to find her. Benjamin... (full context)