July’s People

by

Nadine Gordimer

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Daniel is a young Black man who lives in July’s village and is friends with July. He teaches July to drive the bakkie, and the two of them spend their days working on or hanging around the vehicle in its hiding place outside of the main settlement. Bam teaches Daniel to shoot after Daniel expresses interest in the gun, foreshadowing Daniel’s later decision to steal the gun from its hiding place in the thatched roof of the Smales’ hut. Unlike July, whose loyalty to the Smales family somewhat contradicts his allegiance to his people and Black identity, Daniel is steadfast in his support of Black liberation. At the end of the book, after stealing Bam’s shotgun, Daniel runs away to join the Black fighters.

Daniel Quotes in July’s People

The July’s People quotes below are all either spoken by Daniel or refer to Daniel. 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:
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
).
Chapter 9 Quotes

He put the keys in his pocket and walked away. His head moved from side to side like a foreman’s inspecting his workshop or a farmer’s noting work to be done on the lands. He yelled out an instruction to a woman, here, questioned a man mending a bicycle tyre, there, hallooed across the valley to the young man approaching who was his driving instructor, and who was almost always with him, now, in a city youth’s jeans, silent as a bodyguard, with a string of beads resting girlishly round the base of his slender neck.

Related Characters: Maureen Smales, July, Daniel
Related Symbols: The Bakkie
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

He understood, for the first time, that he was a killer. A butcher like any other in rubber boots among the slush of guts, urine and blood at the abattoir, although July and his kin would do the skinning and quartering. The acceptance was a kind of relief he didn’t want to communicate or discuss.

Related Characters: Maureen Smales, Bam Smales, July, Daniel
Related Symbols: Bam’s Shotgun
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

The chief wanted them to move on; the three children running in and out the hut with their childish sensationalism, their plaints, their brief ecstasies, his wife knocking a nail into her sandal with a stone, and he, shaving outside where there was light. Would tell them to go. What business of the chief’s to tell them where? He had not asked them to come here. A wide arc of the hand: plenty place to go. And this was not their custom, but the civilized one; when a white farmer sold up, or died, the next owner would simply say to the black labourers living and working on the land, born there: go.

Related Characters: Bam Smales, The Chief, July, Daniel
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

The chief had the sharp, impatient, sceptical voice of a man quicker than the people he keeps around him, but knew no white man’s language. Why should he? It was not for him to work as a servant or go down the mines.

Related Characters: Bam Smales, The Chief, Daniel, July, Maureen Smales
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire July’s People LitChart as a printable PDF.
July’s People PDF

Daniel Character Timeline in July’s People

The timeline below shows where the character Daniel appears in July’s People. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
...watches the warthogs walk through the grasses. Earlier in the day, one of July’s friends, Daniel, asked to hold Bam’s gun. Bam taught Daniel to aim at a target. Now, Bam... (full context)
Chapter 13
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
...but they still can’t get a signal. Maureen leaves the hut and spots July and Daniel fixing the bakkie. July emerges from beneath the vehicle and offers a vague explanation of... (full context)
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
After Daniel leaves, July asks Maureen if her family is hungry—he saw her gathering vegetables with the... (full context)
Chapter 14
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
The next morning, the Smales family, July, and Daniel leave the village to meet with the chief. Maureen chatters affectionately with Bam and the... (full context)
Chapter 15
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
...outside a brick, church-like building while July runs ahead to announce their arrival. Bam asks Daniel where they are. Daniel tells him they’ve arrived at the hubeyni, a place people gather.... (full context)
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
The party reaches their destination. After waiting outside for some time, the chief emerges, prompting Daniel and July to drop to their knees. A woman appears with plastic chairs, and everyone... (full context)
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
The meeting comes to an abrupt end. Before the Smales, Daniel, and July return to the bakkie, the chief asks Maureen if her family has been... (full context)
Chapter 16
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
...Gina, Victor, and Royce remain in the bakkie as July picks up some other kids. Daniel moves to the front to sit next to July. Once inside their hut, Bam turns... (full context)
Chapter 19
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Maureen makes her way to the bakkie’s hiding place—July and Daniel’s “retreat.” She thinks back to when she and Bam had entertained the idea of converting... (full context)
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
...one of the Smales boys took it. The accusation angers Maureen. Suddenly, she realizes that Daniel wasn’t at the gumba-gumba with everyone else and demands to see him. July tells Maureen... (full context)
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
Maureen tells July that he has to get the gun back from Daniel. July can smell the familiar “cold cat-smell” of Maureen’s sweat. July angrily tells Maureen the... (full context)
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
...sister, his friend, his people.” July ends his speech in English to tell Maureen that Daniel has gone to join the fighters in town.     (full context)
Racial Hierarchy and Apartheid  Theme Icon
Gratitude and Resentment  Theme Icon
White Liberalism and Hypocrisy  Theme Icon
Power  Theme Icon
Cultural Displacement  Theme Icon
...interjects, insisting that they treated July well. Maureen tries to tell Bam that it was Daniel who took the gun, but she can’t speak. (full context)